Coral reef taller than a skyscraper found in Australia
A new, and enormous, coral reef has been found at the northern tip of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the first such discovery in 120 years, scientists say.
Like an underwater mountain, the unnamed reef is about 1.5km long, 500m (1,640ft) high, the reef is taller than New York’s Empire State Building and the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. That’s about 200m higher than France’s Eiffel Tower in Paris.
An international team of the US and Australian researchers made the discovery about 80km east of Cape Grenville. team aboard a research vessel owned by the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), a non-profit group based in California, used an underwater robot to explore the reef.
The new reef is among a cluster of eight tall “detached” reefs in the area, so-called because they sit outside the main body of the Great Barrier Reef. But while the other seven reefs were all mapped in the 1800s, the new discovery has remained unexplored until now. It’s the first detached reef found in more than 120 years. This could also mean discovery of new marine life.
The Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef, is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, 411 species of hard corals and dozens of other species. It was designated a World Heritage Sight in 1981.