A group of scientists has discovered a coral 500 meters high, taller than the New York Empire State skyscraper, in the Great Barrier Reef, off the northeast coast of Australia.
“The base of this coral with blade shape is 1.5 kilometers wide. It rises to 500 meters (high) and its shallowest depth is 40 meters below the sea surface “, said Tom Bridge, principal investigator of the scientific expedition aboard a ship from the Scmidt Ocean Institute (USA). .
Finding this gigantic disconnected coral, which is located off the coast of Cape York, is the first of its kind in more than a century, according to the statement issued Wednesday by the Australian James Cook University, which participated in the discovery.
“This new discovery joins seven other high-altitude corals that have been detected in the area “of the Great Barrier Reef and that were mapped more than a century ago, added Bridge, a coral expert at the James Cook and Museum of Queensland.
In that collection is Raine Island, a gigantic coral about 620 kilometers off the coast of the Australian city of Cairns and which is considered to be the most important nesting area for green turtles on the planet.
For his part, the expedition leader, scientist Rob Beaman of James Cook University, commented that the discovery was as surprising as the possibility to use the SuBastian robot, which allowed to record video and broadcast the discovery live.
“It’s amazing to be able to make a detailed three-dimensional map of the place and make this discovery with SuBastian “, remarked Beaman, referring to these investigations and underwater discoveries of the Schmidt Ocean Institute in Australia.
Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, emphasized that there are still many structures and unknown species in the marine world waiting to be discovered.