If you’ve never had the opportunity to see a coral reef in person, you really are missing out on one of life’s pleasures. They are beautiful, and when you understand what is behind them, it truly makes you appreciate all that they offer to us and to the oceans of the world.
Most people realize that there is a lot yet to be discovered in the oceans, but who would’ve thought that a new detached coral reef would be discovered, the first discovery of its kind in more than 120 years?
This discovery was announced at the Schmidt Ocean Institute in Australia. It happened when scientists who were sailing on the Falor found the coral reef structure that is some 1,600 feet tall. For perspective, the Empire State building is 1,454 feet tall. This discovery came on the heels of a year-long expedition to map the ocean floor around Australia.
— ECO Magazine (@ecoMagNews) January 7, 2021
After the location of the reef was determined, a team of researchers went on a dive five days later. They were able to determine more information about the shape and size of this underwater discovery. They also created SuBastian, an underwater exploration robot that would provide high-resolution pictures and footage from under the surface of the water.
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The significance of this discovery was discussed by the executive director of the Schmidt Ocean Institute. Dr. Virmani said: “To find a new half-a-kilometer tall reef in the offshore Cape York area of the well-recognized Great Barrier Reef shows how mysterious the world is just beyond our coastline. This powerful combination of mapping data and underwater imagery will be used to understand this new reef and its role within the incredible Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.”
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Scientists aboard Falkor are collecting the first public seafloor data of 2021. The #PinginginNewYear expedition is a partnership with @seabed2030 and part of the global effort to map the entire ocean floor by 2030. Full video: https://t.co/QfTCyzLLKC pic.twitter.com/mykpSMvgx5
— Schmidt Ocean (@SchmidtOcean) January 1, 2021
The Great Barrier Reef has received a lot of attention over the years, especially after it was found that it was struggling to survive. The great barrier reef is a massive underwater structure, yet over half of it has been bleached since 2016. This has been determined by scientists to be the result of climate change as warmer water starves the coral and kills off algae.
As a result of the destruction of the coral reef over time, the ecosystem and marine life in the area are threatened. Even though that news is not good, there are still many positive things to be discovered under the waves.
On October 20th, scientists with the #EdgeGBR expedition uncovered a new detached reef to be added to the #GreatBarrierReef. The reef is 500m high, taller than the Eiffel Tower. #OzOceans2020 #NewReefGBR #KeepExploring #NewDiscovery pic.twitter.com/oiu0tVPe5B
— Schmidt Ocean (@SchmidtOcean) October 25, 2020
The campaign conducted by Schmidt Ocean Institute is providing maps of the ocean floor around Australia. The great barrier reef is also actively being explored and the discoveries are being shared with people around the world. According to a spokesman from James Cook University, Dr. Robin Beaman: “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. This has only been made possible by the commitment of Schmidt Ocean Institute to grant ship time to Australia’s scientists.”
The co-founder of Schmidt Ocean Institute, Wendy Schmidt, spoke of the discovery in the announcement as being unexpected. She admits that the knowledge that we have about what is in the ocean is limited but the new technology available allows us to increase our capacity to discover.
Newly discovered coral reef…..way cool!
Watch what scientists found at new Australian reefhttps://t.co/7sseuFuWRC
— Lisa McAlpine (@MsMcBio) October 28, 2020