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Scientists Discover A Vast Coral Reef Taller Than The Empire State Building: Great Barrier Reef

Scientists Discover A Vast Coral Reef Taller Than The Empire State Building: Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is unique as it extends over 14 degrees of latitude, from shallow estuarine to deep oceanic waters. Within this vast expanse there is a unique array of ecological communities, habitats and species – all of which make the Reef one of the most complex natural ecosystems in the world.

It is a site of remarkable variety and beauty on the north-eastern coast of Australia. It contains the world's largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusc. 

Recently a team of scientists from the Schmidt Ocean Institute spotted the coral reef in the Great Barrier Reef that is even taller than the Empire State Building. The first to be discovered in more than 120 years. The reef is 500 meters (1,640 ft) taller than the Empire State Building in New York and the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

It's one of eight other large, detached reefs in the area that have been mapped since the late 1800s.

The Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI) has used an underwater robot to explore the reef. The robot is known as SuBastian, the robot broadcasts a live video of the discovery on Sunday and uploads it to YouTube.

The newly discovered reef was explored
 by an underwater robot
  (Image credit:- Schmidt Ocean Institute)

Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, said: "This unexpected discovery confirms that we are still finding unknown structures and new species in our ocean.

According to Dr. Jyotika Virmani, Executive Director of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, this finding highlights how much more remains to be learned about Earth's oceans.

She also added, "Finding a new half-a-kilometer-tall reef in the Cape York offshore area of the well-known Great Barrier Reef shows how mysterious the world is beyond our coastline.

The Great Barrier Reef generates more than 1.5 billion dollar per year for the Australian economy, by fishing and tourism. 

Coral reefs provide an important ecosystem for underwater life, and also protect coastal areas by reducing the power of waves hitting the coast.

But a study has found since 1995, Australia's Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half of its corals due to warmer seawater caused by climate change. As unnaturally hot ocean water destroys the colourful algae of the reef, leaving the coral to starve. ... They begin to die off, which reduces the diversity of the reef.

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