Scientists Discover Incredible Coral Reef

In Australia, it rivals that nation's Great Barrier Reef
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2015 7:50 PM CDT
Images of a newly explored Australian deep-sea reef that rivals the Great Barrier Reef for aquatic life.   (Parks Victoria)

(Newser) – Australia already has at least one of the natural wonders of the world in the Great Barrier Reef, but it may have just added another one more than 300 feet under the sea on the other side of the continent, Mashable reports. According to a Parks Victoria announcement yesterday, scientists taking advantage of new technology sent an underwater robot equipped with cameras to explore Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park, only to discover a reef ecosystem "beyond expectations." The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports it was the first time the deeper areas of the park near Melbourne have been explored, and scientists had no idea what marine life they were going to find.

According to Parks Victoria, what they found were sponges and coral that created "extensive walls, house-sized boulders, ridges, and caverns"; schools of fish living in 300-foot-deep holes; underwater dunes nearly 100 feet high; and aquatic species, such as the Australian barracuda, previously thought to be rare in the area. Mashable reports the marine park reef has just as many fish, sponges, and coral as the Great Barrier Reef, and Parks Victoria's science manager says they found "ecosystems that are comparable to Australia's better-known tropical reef areas." Now they just need a catchier name. Maybe the Just As Great Barrier Reef? (Scientists also recently discovered Earth's "older cousin.")

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