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Great Barrier Reef: Scientists find reef taller than Empire State Building

Australian scientists have discovered a coral reef 1640ft high on the Great Barrier Reef.

The base of the blade-like reef is nearly a mile wide, which rises up 1640ft to only 130ft below the sea surface just off Cape York – this makes the detached reef taller than the Empire State Building.

Australian scientists made the discovery during a 3D seabed mapping exercise onboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor.

It’s the first detached reef found in more than 120 years and will likely lead to many more studies in the area.

“This newly discovered detached reef adds to the seven other tall detached reefs in the area—all otherwise mapped in the late 1800s,” Dr Tom Bridge, a Principal Investigator on the expedition, said.

The Schmidt Ocean Institute’s underwater robot SuBastian explored the new reef, which was videoed and live-streamed.

Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Ocean Institute, said there are still many unknown structures and species within our oceans.

“The state of our knowledge about what’s in the ocean has long been so limited,” Ms Schmidt said.

“Thanks to new technologies that work as our eyes, ears and hands in the deep ocean, we have the capacity to explore like never before. New oceanscapes are opening to us, revealing the ecosystems and diverse life forms that share the planet with us.”

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