Although life isn’t great these days for the Great Barrier Reef thanks to global warming, a brand new reef has just been discovered that’s taller than the Empire State Building. On October 20 scientists discovered the detached reef in the waters off North Queensland while aboard the Falkor research vessel. It’s the first such discovery in over 120 years.
The reef is 1,640 feet tall, making it taller than the Empire State Building, Sydney Tower, and Petronas Twin Towers, though you wouldn’t be able to appreciate its enormity unless you dove underwater. It measures about one mile wide and rises to its shallowest depth of about 131 feet below the ocean surface. The team of scientists used an underwater robot named SuBastian to explore the reef and livestream footage.
Wendy Schmidt, the co-founder of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, said in a statement, “This unexpected discovery affirms that we continue to find unknown structures and new species in our ocean. The state of our knowledge about what’s in the ocean has long been so limited. 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.”