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New Coral Reef Found in Galapagos

Almost 40 years ago, an El Nino winter killed coral reefs in the waters surrounding the Galapagos. According to Science News, when corals die from warm waters, they usually don’t recover. However, since April, scientists have begun discovering new pristine deep-sea corals.

According to Reuters, a scientific expedition earlier this year discovered a previously unknown coral reef off the coast of the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. The reef is two kilometers (1.2 miles) long and about 400 meters (a quarter-mile) deep. It appears to have survived the El Nino weather from 1982 and 1983. The corals have grown on top of a submerged volcano in the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR), a protected area since 1998.

Since Earth continues to warm due to climate change, scientists were thrilled to find that this coral reef has been able to withstand warming events up to this point, according to Natural Habitat Adventures. Michelle Taylor, a deep-sea marine biologist, told Smithsonian Magazine that “this reef was pristine; just a dense mass of layers of ancient coral with a frosting of live coral across the top.” 

While most news nowadays about the oceans’ coral reefs is not encouraging, this discovery is a welcome change.

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