Reef taller than Empire State Building found in Great Barrier Reef

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 29, 2020

"To find a new half-a-kilometre tall reef in the offshore Cape York area of the well-recognised Great Barrier Reef shows how mysterious the world is just beyond our coastline", said Jyotika Virmani, executive director of Schmidt Ocean Institute, in its statement.

Scientists have discovered a new detached coral reef at the northern tip of the Great Barrier Reef - and it stands an impressive 500 metres (1,640 feet) high, taller than the Empire State Building, the Sydney Tower and the Petronas Towers in Malaysia. Photo: Schmidt Ocean Institute (coral reef) and Aleksandr Rogozin/Unsplash (Empire State Building). The newly found detached reef is now among the seven other tall, detached reefs in the area.

Great Barrier Reef Legacy's Living Coral Biobank project aims to secure the long-term future and biodiversity of corals worldwide with the primary goal of the facility to store, keep alive and nurture over 800 species of the world's hard corals which can be used to rehabilitate reefs in nature in the future.

Scientists discovered this coral reef while conducting underwater mapping of the northern Great Barrier Reef seafloor.

He said it was the first detached reef of that size to be discovered in over 120 years and that it was thriving with a "blizzard of fish" in a healthy ecosystem.

"This unexpected discovery affirms that we continue to find unknown structures and new species in our ocean", Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of the SOI, said in a news release.

Newly Discovered Coral Reef in Australia Dwarfs Empire State Building
Falkor working on the Great Barrier Reef with SuBastian. Source Schmidt Ocean Institute

Following the initial detection on October 20, the team deployed the institute's ROV SuBastian to investigate further (hmm, Falkor, SuBastian - guessing someone at the Schmidt Ocean Institute is a fan of The NeverEnding Story). "The state of our knowledge about what's in the ocean has always been so limited. New oceanscapes are opening to us, revealing the ecosystems and diverse life forms that share the planet with us". The dive was livestreamed on its website.

That wasn't the institute's only recent discovery.

Beaman's team will continue its expedition of the ocean surrounding Australia until November 17. In February, deep sea coral gardens and graveyards were located in Bremer Canyon Marine Park.

Rising about 550 yards in the Great Barrier Reef, it's the first to be discovered in more than a century.

The Great Barrier Reef, which is comprised of more than 3,000 individual reef systems, is the world's largest coral reef system, but is facing increasing threats to its existence thanks to climate change.

In April, Schmidt Ocean Institute scientists discovered the longest recorded sea creature - a 45m siphonophore in Ningaloo Canyon - plus up to 30 new species.

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