Splendid Coral Reef Found Deep in the Pacific

Jan 21, 2022

A beautiful coral reef stretching for two miles has been discovered off the coast of Tahiti. It's been found in the Pacific Ocean’s “twilight zone." The find is raising hopes that similar discoveries are awaiting scientists.

Divers reported that they found a coral reef more than 80 feet deep. The ecosystem is in perfect condition. New diving technologies allowed the divers to explore at very deep levels. They dove so deep the sun's rays couldn't be seen. 

The discovery, and the reef’s strong health, surprised researchers. Many reefs around the world have been damaged. The depth of the find also surprised experts. Usually, coral reef ecosystems appear in much shallower waters.

“It was magical to witness giant, beautiful rose corals which stretch for as far as the eye can see,” one of the divers told The Guardian. “It was like a work of art.”

To fully survey the reef, a dive team spent more than 200 hours on deep dives. They witnessed the rose-shaped coral spawn at lengths of up to 6 feet. Scientists hope new technologies that permit longer, deeper dives will lead to more such discoveries.

“To date, we know the surface of the moon better than the deep ocean. Only 20% of the entire seabed has been mapped,” explained one official.

Photo from Alexis Rosenfeld’s Instagram.

From the information given, which word best describes the divers reaction to discovering the coral reef? (Common Core RI.5.1; RI.6.1)
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