Scientists discover 1600 ft. tall coral reef in Australia

James Marshall
October 29, 2020

The Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef, covers 345,000 square kilometres and is home to more than 1500 species of fish, 411 species of hard corals and dozens of other species. According to the institute's press release, this reef is the first "massive" reef to be discovered in 120 years.

Scientists have discovered a massive coral tower on Queensland's Great Barrier Reef that's taller than the Empire State Building.

According to a report by The Guardian, the vertical reef, taller than New York's Empire State Building, was found about 130 kilometers off Cape York during a 3D seabed-mapping exercise by scientists.

A study published earlier this month found that ocean warming has killed half of the coral in the Great Barrier Reef.

The massive discovery was made on October 20 by scientists mapping the underwater seafloor of the northern Great Barrier Reef aboard the Institute's research vessel Falkor, which is now on a year-long exploration of the ocean surrounding Australia.

The scientists are now on a 12-month exploration of the ocean surrounding Australia.

Data returned from their unmanned submarine - named SuBastian - showed images of a spire-like reef that rises over half a kilometre to a peak just 40 metres below the ocean surface. The team then took Schmidt Ocean Institute's underwater robot SuBastian on a dive on October 25 to explore the new reef in depth.

It joins seven other tall, detached reefs in the area, which has been mapped since the late 1800s.

"This unexpected discovery affirms that we continue to find unknown structures and new species in our ocean", stated Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Ocean Institute. The dive was livestreamed on its website.

The scientists also discovered the longest recorded sea creature in Ningaloo Canyon off Western Australia's northwest coast - a 45 metre Siphonophore, which is a gelatinous carnivore that lives deep in the ocean.

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

The Great Barrier Reef stretches 2300km along the north east Australian coastline and was designated a World Heritage site in 1981 for its scientific importance. Thanks to new technologies that work as our eyes, ears and hands in the deep ocean, we have the capacity to explore like never before.

The SuBastian awaiting deployment from the back of the Falkor, while exploring Flinders Reef.

It's a coral state of mind.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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