Great Barrier Reef Corals Found at 'Mind-Blowing' 410 Feet Deep
Author: Stephanie Pappas
Source: NBC News
January 2, 2013
Even four times as deep as most scuba divers venture, the Great Barrier Reef blooms. A new exploration by a remote-operated submersible has found the reef's deepest coral yet.
The common coral Acropora is living 410 feet (125 meters) below the ocean's surface, a discovery that expedition leader Pim Bongaerts of the University of Queensland called "mind-blowing." The group had previously seen the coral living in the reef at a depth of about 200 feet (60 m).
Coral reefs are made of colonies of polyps which secret a rock-like exoskeleton. The polyps have a symbiotic relationship with algae that provide them nutrients using photosynthesis. Because this process requires light, coral reefs thrive in clear, relatively shallow water.
To read the full text of this article, click here.