It looked like your average beach, but in 1998 an astonishing discovery was made here when the sand started to vanish due to a storm.

Underneath hundreds of years of sand lay the remains of a huge ancient sitka spruce forest dating back approximately 2000 years. Around 100 of the tree stumps now dot the beach of Neskowin in Oregon, fascinating visitors with their haunting appearance and reminding us that sometimes, all is not what is seems.

Scientists believe an earthquake or tsunami virtually wiped out the forest. Ironically, the stumps were preserved by the same natural event that destroyed most of the forest, preserving them as they remain in their original soil deep below the sand layers.

The trees were believed to have been enormous, stretching up to 195 ft. high.

Before the storm that uncovered the stumps for good, locals did occasionally see a few poking out from the sand — we’re talking once every couple of decades — but they would soon be reburied.

This story originally appeared on news.com.au.