A 1640-foot-long coral reef has just been discovered in the Great Barrier Reef, taller than the Empire State Building, the first of its kind to be discovered in more than a century.
A skyscraper-sized coral was discovered during underwater mapping on Oct. 20 by Australian scientists aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Falkor research ship, which is on a one-year study of the ocean surrounding the land below, the institute said.
Five days later, a team of researchers dived live with the Schmidt SuBastian underwater robot, which showed the true width of the reef.
The base of the blade-like reef is shy a mile wide and ranges in height from 1
The stunning discovery is in addition to seven other high-rise reefs in the same area mapped since the late 1800s, including the Rhine reef, “the most important nesting area for green sea turtles in the world,” Schmid said on his website. announcing a stunning find.
“This unexpected discovery confirms that we continue to discover unknown structures and new species in our Ocean,” said Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of the Schmidt Ocean Institute.
“The state of our knowledge of what is in the ocean has long been so limited. Thanks to new technologies that work like our eyes, ears and hands in the deep ocean, we have the ability to explore like never before. New ocean landscapes are opening up to us, revealing the ecosystems and diverse life forms that the planet shares with us. “
The Schmidt Ocean Institute made other surprising discoveries this year, including the longest recorded sea creature – a 147-meter siphonophore in Ningaloo Canyon, which was discovered in April – and as many as 30 new species
In August, the institute also uncovered five undescribed species of black coral and mushrooms and recorded Australia’s first sighting of rare scorpions in the Coral Sea and marine parks on the Great Barrier Reef.
Deepwater coral gardens and cemeteries were also discovered in the Bremer Canyon Marine Park in February.
Schmidt’s journey through the northern depths of the Great Barrier Reef continues until November 17.