A coral taller than the Empire State Building was discovered in the Great Barrier Reef. (photo by Wise Hok Wai Lum via Wikimedia Commons)
A coral reef looming taller than the Empire State Building was discovered in the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The New York Post reports that the underwater “edifice” chalked up to a whooping 1,640 feet tall. By comparison, the Empire State Building is 1,454 feet tall base-to-tip.
This mammoth coral reef was discovered by researchers of the Schmidt Ocean Institute on Oct. 20 who were conducting underwater mapping of the northern Great Barrier Reef seafloor. According to the institute’s press release, this reef is the first “massive” reef to be discovered in 120 years.
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
“This unexpected discovery affirms that we continue to find unknown structures and new species in our ocean,” stated Wendy Schmidt, the institute’s co-founder. “The state of our knowledge about what’s in the ocean has long been so limited. Thanks to new technologies that work as our eyes, ears and hands in the deep ocean, we have the capacity to explore like never before. New oceanscapes are opening to us, revealing the ecosystems and diverse life forms that share the planet with us.”
Coral reefs are polyps whose calcium structures can grow and expand over time. Some are between 5,000 and 10,000 years old, and they tend to provide food and shelter for a cornucopia of oceanic creatures. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef on the planet, housing an ecosystem of approximately 400 species.
Executive Director of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, Dr. Jyotika Virmani, summed up the meaning of the discovery: “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 beyond our coastline.”
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Coral reef, Great Barrier Reef, Empire State Building, Australia
World news – US – Coral reef taller than the Empire State Building found off coast of Australia