Surprise Discovery of Deep-Sea Corals In Great Barrier Reef

Thank goodness for underwater robots. We never know what we'll discover in the depths of the sea now that we have these amazing tools. And it's just what has helped researchers find corals in the Great Barrier Reef at depths they never thought possible for corals in this area.

PhysOrg reports, "A team from the University of Queensland's Seaview Survey announced the unprecedented discovery 125 metres (410 feet) below the surface at Ribbon Reef, near the Torres Strait and at the edge of the Australian continental shelf."

Despite the fact that the water they were found in was practically pitch black, the corals still have the same photosynthetic symibionts that convert light into energy as their counterparts closer to the surface. The fact that they can survive in such low light is fascinating, and researchers believe they may provide a better understanding of how corals in the Great Barrier Reef grow and reproduce. They may also be a point of study for how ocean acidification and warming affects corals differently.

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