Coral Reef Taller than the Empire State Building Found

Coral Reef Taller than the Empire State Building Found
The newly discovered reef is 1,600 feet tall (representative image), Photo Credit:

The detached reef, taller than the Empire State Building, was discovered at the northern end of the Great Barrier Reef off Cape York in Queensland

OT Staff
November 02 , 2020
01 Min Read

An enormous, 1,600 feet tall coral reef was discovered in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, scientists announced on October 26.

The “blade like” vertical reef was found during a 3D seabed mapping exercise conducted from a ship owned by the Californian non-profit Schmidt Ocean Institute. The reef is about 130km off Cape York, Australia’s north-eastern tip.

The massive underwater structure is the first reef that has been discovered in 120 years, this reef is taller than iconic skyscrapers such as New York City’s Empire State Building and the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The scientists found the structure, detached from the Great Barrier Reef off Cape York, last week.

The newly discovered reef does not appear to have a lot of hard corals in its upper section, but has “an incredible abundance” of sponges, sea fans and soft corals, suggesting the area is rich in nutrients carried by strong currents and upwellings of deep waters.

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. Stretching over 2,300km (1,400 miles), the reef was designated a World Heritage site in 1981 for its enormous scientific and intrinsic importance.

In recent years, it has been vastly damaged by warmer seas which have killed off coral, dispersed other marine life and sped up growth of algae and other contaminants. A study published earlier this month found the Great Barrier Reef had lost more than half of its corals since 1995 due to warmer seas driven by climate change.

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