'Like a Work of Art’: Scientists Gush Over Discovery of Rare, Rose-Shaped Coral Reef
Unlike most of the world's mapped coral reefs found in shallow waters, this rose-like 3-kilometre coral reef has been found lower down in the ocean at a depth of 115 to 230 feet. It is estimated to be one of the largest corals ever discovered at such depths.
The discovery of a rare, rose-shaped virgin coral reef by French scientists off the coast of the French territory Tahiti in the southern Pacific Ocean has been making headlines worldwide, evoking a lot of interest from environmentalists.
Laetitia Hédouin, a researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research on Moorea Island in the South Pacific, first saw the coral reef months ago during a UNESCO-sponsored diving expedition.
Intrigued by the rarity of the coral reef's appearance, Hédouin decided to study it and said that the coral appeared to be in good health and unaffected by climate change or human activity.
As per a report by the Associated Press (AP), the team used special tanks and scuba gear for 200 hours to examine the reef, which included gathering photos, measurements, and coral samples.
Hédouin told AP that the reef off Tahiti was unaffected by the recent volcanic explosion in Tonga in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, which generated tsunami waves.
Hédouin and a team of scientists are planning more dives next month to study how the coral has resisted climate change and human stresses.
Coral is a little organism that lives in water and forms reefs. Yet, due to overfishing, pollution in the ocean, global warming, and other human activity under the sea, coral reefs around the globe have been depleted.