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Petrified forest

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Many of the stumps were preserved by the ash in life position

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Very reminiscent of trees snapped off by blast at Mt St Helens...

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I believe this massive tree is the longest petrified tree yet discovered.

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Detail of the same picture, showing where a branch was. Many trees look like they also burned.

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This is one of THE things to see on Lesvos, being one of the best preserved petrified forests in the world. It is very recent, in geological terms, and the trees are mainly Oaks and Maples. The museum explained that an eruption nearby had blown the forest down just like at Mt St Helens, then covered the trees with thick ash. Water percolating through replaced the wood with silica, preserving even the cellular structure. The thing I found most moving about the site was the 'feel' of the forest and the devastation that took place here. It was't hard to imagine the cool forest with towering hardwoods and animals in between, then KABLOOIE! ...ash, splintered wood, devastation.

We didn't spend long here because the sun was merciless on the exposed hillside and we were all hot and getting narky.