A Pinnacle of Coral Is Discovered in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef


Explorers of the Great Barrier Reef have discovered a giant pinnacle of coral taller than the Empire State Building.

This week, a team of scientists reported finding a detached coral feature that rises from the seabed to a height of nearly one-third of a mile. Its discoverers call it the first large new element of Australia’s famous reef system to be identified in more than 120 years.

Moreover, the new reef is flourishing, in contrast to many ill ones in the Great Barrier and around the globe. Corals in warm, polluted waters often suffer environmental stresses that can turn them white and, if prolonged, kill them off. The wastage is known as coral bleaching.

“It was a good day” when the team brought the massive new reef to light for the first time, said Robin Beaman of James Cook University, the expedition’s chief scientist.


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