Scientists find deep sea corals with diving robot
SYDNEY - Agence France-Presse
These two photos show an Algal overgrowth section of Great Barrier Reef. Researchers are interested in how the coral reproduced at such depths. AFP photoAustralian scientists mapping the Great Barrier Reef have discovered corals at depths never before thought possible, with a deep-sea robot finding specimens in waters nearly as dark as night.
A team from the University of Queensland’s Seaview Survey announced the unprecedented discovery 125 meters below the surface at Ribbon Reef, near the Torres Strait and at the edge of the Australian continental shelf.
Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, chief scientist on the project, told that coral had previously only been shown to exist to depths of 70 metres and the finding could bring new understanding about how reefs spawn and grow.
“What’s really cool is that these corals still have photosynthetic symibionts that supposedly still harvest the light,” he said, adding “It’s pretty rare on the planet today.”