Why is this discovery important?
Diver describes a rare coral reef discovered near Tahiti as ‘like a work of art.’ It is approximately 3 kilometres in length and found at a depth of between 30 to 65 m. The location is highly unusual as most of the world’s known coral reefs are found only around 25 metres.
It means that there are many more large reefs out there, at depths of more than 30 metres unknown previously. So it is rightly said that “We know the surface of the moon better than the deep ocean”.
A scientific research mission supported by @UNESCO has discovered one of the world’s largest coral reefs off the coast of Tahiti.— UNESCO 🏛️ #Education #Sciences #Culture 🇺🇳😷 (@UNESCO) January 20, 2022
This highly unusual discovery is a great leap forward for #science!
Read more about @AlexisRosenfeld‘s #1Ocean project: https://t.co/l3RBzo9QRR pic.twitter.com/XuW9CpXTDc
Finding coral reefs of this size is important because they are food source for other organisms. Organisms found on coral reefs may also be useful in medical research.
The area suffered a significant bleaching event back in 2019; however, this reef does not appear to have been significantly affected. Its depth has protected it from bleaching caused by global warming.
With the increase in temperature due to global warming, corals expel the algae living in their tissues. It is called coral bleaching. It is named so because it results in the loss of colour of coral reefs into white. If bleaching continues for prolonged periods, corals eventually die.
The expedition that made the discovery is part of UNESCO’s ocean mapping initiative.
The above pic is of bleached coral reef due to global warming
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