Deep Reef Expedition Reveals Unpredictable Coral Resilience

Yesterday, The Catlin Seaview Survey team discovered flourishing corals living 125m below the surface, making it the deepest living coral community ever found on the Great Barrier Reef.

On their journey to survey dying coral along the reef, the team was surprised when they encountered living coral at depths of about 60m.”It’s intriguing. When we began our survey, we were amazed to see significant coral communities at depths of around 60 metres,” said Dr. Pim Bongarts, team leader, in a statement.

As they continued downward, blew their minds-  along with everyone else’s – to discover coral at more than twice the 60m depth and four times deeper than most scuba divers can swim.

“The discovery shows that there are coral communities on the Great Barrier Reef existing at considerably greater depths than we could ever have imagined,” said Bongaerts in an interview with The Australian.

The Great Barrier Reef is but a stop on the Catlin Seaview Survey team’s reef-mapping exploration, where they are examining, documenting, and sampling reeds from around the world that are threatened by climate change. To read more about their plan, read their website here.

The team is using collected specimens to figure out just how these reefs are able to survive at extreme depths far from a shallow surface drenched in sunlight.

“These discoveries show just how little we really know about the reef and how much more is yet to be discovered,” Bongaerts said.


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