Pristine stretch of coral reef discovered off Tahiti

Posted by David Henning on 24 January 2022

A 3km undisturbed, pristine coral reef was discovered off the coast of Tahiti, in waters thought to be deep enough to protect it from the bleaching effects of the warming ocean.

The reef, which is one of the largest in the world and took about 25 years to grow, lies at depth of more than 30 metres, termed the ‘twilight zone.’ This discovery offers hope that more pristine ecosystems are waiting to be discovered in the depths of the ocean.

Only 20% of the entire seabed has been mapped according to UNESCO scientists. ‘It also raises questions about how coral reefs become more resilient to climate change,’ says UNESCO’s head of marine policy, Julian Barbarie.

The world’s most famous coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef has suffered severe bleaching to an estimated 80% of its corals since 2016.

According to Barbarie, more of the ocean floor needs to be mapped to better safeguard marine biodiversity, because ‘we know more about the surface of the Moon or the surface of Mars than the deeper part of the ocean.’

Watch the video below to get a glimpse of this spectacular discovery.

Picture: UNESCO

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