Researchers Discover ‘Massive’ Coral Reef In Australia That Dwarfs Empire State Building

By: | October 29th, 2020

Image courtesy: Schmidt Ocean Institute

The ocean covers more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, but we still know shockingly little about the mysterious deep blue sea.

Recently Australian scientists discovered a coral reef that is taller than the Empire State Building. Scientists discovered this reef during a 3D seabed mapping exercise aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Falkor vessel.

Wendy Schmidt, a co-founder of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, said, “This unexpected discovery affirms that we continue to find unknown structures and new species in our Ocean,” 

“The state of our knowledge about what’s in the ocean has long been so limited. 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,” added Schmidt. “New oceanscapes are opening to us, revealing the ecosystems and diverse life forms that share the planet with us.”

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef. It covers about 133,000 square miles (344,400 km. But these recently discovered reefs are not part of the main body of the Great Barrier Reef. These are discovered at the northern end of the Great Barrier Reef.

This reef is the first detached reef discovered in the last 120 years. According to the Schmidt Ocean Institute, it is about 4,921-foot (1.5-km) wide and roughly 1,600 feet (500 m) high.

Now the team is further exploring the reef using the underwater robot, “SuBastian,”

Lead scientist, Robin Beaman said, “We are surprised and elated by what we have found,” “To not only 3D map the reef in detail, but also visually see this discovery with SuBastian, is incredible.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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