Coral larger than Empire State Constructing present in Nice Barrier Reef

Newly discovered coral reef is taller than the Empire State Building, scientists say

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With that in mind, it might seem totally absurd that the colossal reef structure dwarfing the Empire State Building was hidden in plain sight, but it appears that this is exactly what scientists have just discovered.

This mammoth coral reef was discovered by researchers of the Schmidt Ocean Institute on October 20 who were conducting underwater mapping of the northern Great Barrier Reef seafloor.

Five days later, they conducted an exploratory, live-streamed dive with SuBastian, the Institute's underwater robot.

"This unexpected discovery confirms that we are continuing to find unknown structures and new species in our surroundings", Wendy Schmidt of the Schmidt Oceanic Institute He said in a statement.

Robin Beaman, who led the outreach, said he was "surprised" by the findings.

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The reef was initially discovered on October 20, with a group of scientists conducting underwater mapping of the northern Great Barrier Reef seafloor. With new technology that works deep in the oceans, our ears and our hands, we can explore in an unprecedented way.

Equipped with robotic arms and a camera, it took coral from the reef for scientific inspection, livestreaming its exploration on YouTube.

This means that the reef is taller than the Empire State Building.

It's an unbelievable find, and you can experience it for yourself thanks to the high-definition video that the researchers recorded as they explored the newly discovered coral reef structure. It also adds to the seven reef systems already discovered in the area since the late 1800s. "It's unbelievable not only to map this discovery with SuBastian in 3D, but also to see it visually". New ocean views open up to us, revealing the diverse ecosystems and life forms that share the planet with us.

The scientists are now on a 12-month exploration of the ocean surrounding Australia.

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In April, researchers discovered the longest recorded sea creature - a 148 feet (45 metres) -long siphonophore, a creature related to the jellyfish, in Ningaloo Canyon - as well as 30 new species.

Back in February, their year started with the discovery of deep sea coral gardens and graveyards in Bremer Canyon Marine Park.

"To find a new half-a-kilometre tall reef in the offshore Cape York area of the well-recognised Great Barrier Reef shows how mysterious the world is just beyond our coastline", said Schmidt Ocean Institute executive director Jyotika Virmani.

The discovery was made as part of a Schmidt Ocean Institute effort to change that, mapping the entire area around the northern GBR using both the research vessel Falkor and ROV SuBastian.

The maps created by the researchers on their voyages will be available through AusSeabed, a national Australian seabed mapping program, and will also contribute to the Nippon Foundation's GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project.

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