Hurricane Francis, which hit Wales in August this year, discovered parts of a long fossilized forest that had been under water for at least 4,500 years . These ancient Welsh trees are believed to have once been part of the Cantre’rue Guélode Forest, the subject of a seventeenth-century local legend about the mythical “Welsh Atlantis” also known as the “Sinking Hundred”.
Earlier parts of the forest were discovered on the beach of Bort in the Gulf of Cardigan and scientists believe that the forest was located on an area about 5 kilometers long between Bort beach and Inis Las. However, the new discovery slightly changes these perceptions. Thanks to the discovery in Llanrichstud, scientists can now claim that the forest in reality was much larger than previously thought.
And if the tree fragments that were discovered on the beach of Borta in 2014 soon disappeared again under a layer of water and sand, the new storm has exposed a fairly large part of the ancient forest. Scientists are currently conducting research to determine the age of the forest, but there are already indications that the discovered oak, pine, alder and birch trees ceased to grow between 4500 and 6000 years ago.
Scientists also noted that the discovery was “both exciting and disturbing”, as it is both a testimony to history and a visual representation of changes in the landscape.
It is noteworthy that this ancient forest was directly related to the myth of the 17th century about a sunken civilization known as the Cantre’r Gulode, or the Sinking of the Hundred. According to legend, the ancient state known as “Atlantis of Wales” stretched on fertile land, which stretched from the shoreline for at least 30 kilometers. However, to protect it from the sea, it still needed a dam with sluice gates, which opened and closed, depending on the tide. Further versions of what happened slightly different, but in the end they all describe one thing – for some reason, the kingdom was flooded.
For a long time it was just a legend, retold from generation to generation, but now there is real evidence that the lost kingdom really existed.