International

Peat Bog The Size Of England Discovered In Congo Republic

A massive peat bog the size England has been found in West Africa's Republic of Congo.

The previously undiscovered bog is thought to reach nearly 23 feet beneath the ground and contain billions of tons of peat –- ancient, partially decayed vegetation. It could cover an area 40,000 to 80,000 square miles, scientists believe in the Congo Republic, also referred to as Congo-Brazzaville.

The BBC says:

"Scientists say investigating the carbon-rich material could shed light on 10,000 years of environmental change in this little-studied region.

"Dr Simon Lewis, from the University of Leeds, said: 'It's remarkable that there are parts of the planet that are still uncharted territory.'

"He added: 'Few people venture into these swamps as they are quite difficult places to move around in and work in.'"

The International Peat Society says that it's estimated that about 3 percent of the world's land area is peatland, but much of what exists may not be recognized as such.

"Estimates of the world's peatland area vary considerably because of a lack of accurate data on the extent of peatlands," the society says in a video on its website. "This is due to the different criteria used to define peatlands and the lack of survey data."

In Ireland's famous peat bogs "All kinds of bodies have been found with their skin and organs intact." The remarkable preservation of human remains and artifacts is the result of "Sphagnum mosses, which come with preservatives built into their cell walls," Wired says.

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