Hungary uncovers 8 million-year-old trees

August 3, 2007

Hungary will spare no expense to preserve 16 cypress trees, estimated to be 8 million-years-old, recently uncovered in a northern lignite mine.

Hungarian Environment Minister Gabor Fodor told reporters in Budapest Friday the government will contribute millions of dollars to preserve the trees, the Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

Fodor said the cypress trees, believed to be 98 to 131 feet tall, were found in the Bukkabrany lignite mine, near the town of Miskolc, 100 miles northeast of Budapest.

The trees once were part of a wetlands forest in the Bukk mountains region, north of Miskolc.

The find is unique because the trees have not turned into fossils, which means they could yield clues to plant life in pre-historic times.

Authorities will put the rare trees on display for visitors in the Bukk National Park outside Miskolc.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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