- Researchers mapping the Great Barrier Reef have discovered a new reef structure that has not been previously documented.
- The coral reef structure resembles a large tower that juts out from the sea floor and extends 500 meters toward the surface.
- The new part of the coral reef was explored using an underwater robot.
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia isn’t exactly new to science. Studied over many decades, researchers have mapped and mapped coral reefs while studying the effects of climate change on the delicate coral reef environment. With that in mind, it might seem totally absurd that the colossal reef structure dwarfing the Empire State Building was hidden in plain sight, but it appears that this is exactly what scientists have just discovered.
Researchers from James Cook University found coral reefs while mapping the Northern Great Barrier Reef. It is the first tie in which a new piece of coral was discovered more than 120 years ago.
So, how was this huge part of the reef not observed for so long? Its ability to stay hidden for so long is due in large part to its shape. It is a tall and narrow tower that juts out from the sea floor, extending 500 meters towards the surface. Its “climax,” so to speak, is only 40 meters below sea level, and the crew charting the area was able to discover it without much trouble.
“This unexpected discovery confirms that we are continuing to find unknown structures and new species in our surroundings,” Wendy Schmidt of the Schmidt Oceanic Institute He said in a statement. It is the Schmidt Ocean Institute that developed the underwater SuBastian robot that recently discovered coral reefs. “Our knowledge of what is in the ocean has always been very limited. Thanks to new technologies that work with our eyes, ears and hands in the depths of the ocean, we have the ability to explore like never before. New ocean views open up to us, revealing the diverse ecosystems and life forms that share the planet with us. “.
It’s an amazing find, and you can experience it for yourself thanks to the high-definition video that the researchers recorded as they explored the newly discovered coral reef structure. A four-hour video has been posted exploring the coral reefs on Earth, and you can watch everything in HD quality:
“The discovery of a new half-kilometer-high coral reef in the Cape York marine area of the well-known Great Barrier Reef shows just how mysterious the world is beyond our coast,” said Dr. Giotika Vermani, Director of the Schmidt Ocean Institute. “This powerful combination of underwater map data and imagery will be used to understand these new coral reefs and their role within the magnificent World Heritage Area of the Great Barrier Reef.”
It’s a really cool find, and it’s a great reminder of just how vast and largely unexplored Earth’s oceans are.