Science & Technology

Scientists discover pristine coral reef deep off Tahiti coast

Paris, Jan 20 (EFE).- Marine scientists have discovered a “remarkable” pristine coral reef deep off the coast of Tahiti in French Polynesia, Unesco, which led the mission, revealed Thursday.

While most coral reefs sit relatively close to the surface, the 3-kilometer stretch of pristine rose coral was found by scientists at a depth of between 30 to 65 meters below sea level, in the so-called twilight zone.

Given its depth, the reef appears to have been spared the sun-bleaching that has blighted shallow reefs in Tahiti in recent years and offers a glimmer of hope that other coral ecosystems in the twilight zone could be more resilient to climate change.

Unesco’s director general Audrey Azoulay said: “This remarkable discovery in Tahiti demonstrates the incredible work of scientists who, with the support of Unesco, further the extent of our knowledge about what lies beneath.”

She added that only 20% of the seabed has been mapped.

The reef was discovered in November during a Unesco-led mission to map the ocean floor. EFE


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