Scientists of Schmidt Ocean Institute recently discovered a massive coral reef in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of north Queensland state. It is a huge detached coral reef and is taller than the prominent skyscrapers in the world like Eiffel Tower, Sydney Tower and Petronas Twin Tower. The Petronas Twin Tower is 451.9 metres high. The Eiffel Tower is 324 metres high. The Sydney Tower is 305 metres high. And the newly discovered coral reef has a height of over 500 metres. Also, it is the eight known detached coral reef in the region and is the first to be discovered in the last 120 years. Read on to know more.
500 Metres Tall Detached Coral Reef Found In Australia For The First Time In The Past 120 Years
The researchers of the Schmidt Ocean Institute were on an expedition aboard a research vessel Falkor. A CNN report stated, “The reef was first discovered on October 20, as scientists completed an underwater mapping of the seafloor of the northern Great Barrier Reef.” On October 25, the research team explored the reef with an underwater robot named SuBastian and live-streamed the exploration.
According to experts, the reef’s base is blade-like and measures 1.5 kilometres wide. The coral reef has a height of 500 metres, which is almost one and a half times as tall as the Eiffel tower. The towering reef is the eighth detached coral reef in the area and is the first to be discovered in the past 120 years. A few months back, a rare species of Eagle Ray was spotted in the Great Barrier Reef.
The Region Has Seven Other Tall Reefs
Reportedly, the region has seven other tall reefs, including the reef at Raine Island, which is also the world’s largest green turtle breeding ground. According to Mongabay reports, Robin Beaman, the expedition leader, has stated, “It’s exciting that we can still find such unusually tall reefs in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.”
Beaman added, “People have been mapping the Great Barrier Reef since 1770 when James Cook first sailed here. Since then, we have been progressively mapping the shallower coral reefs with technologies as advanced as airborne lidar bathymetry. But it still takes a modern multibeam-sonar equipped vessel, like the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s RV Falkor, to look in the right place and then do the 100% systematic mapping required in the deeper and more remote waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, to reveal such surprising discoveries.”
The Reefs Have Presence Of Marine Lives
Scientists have also found marine lives in these little known reefs. Beaman stated, “There was marine life all the way up the reef, but near the summit where waters are warmer and sunlit, there was a thriving shallow coral reef ecosystem — healthy looking coral colonies, a blizzard of coral fish and large sharks circling,” He has also added that the newly discovered reef doesn’t appear to be impacted by the latest bleaching activities in the Great Barrier Reef.
This is undoubtedly an awe-inspiring discovery. Meanwhile, did you ever enjoy shipwreck diving in the Maldives?