“Unexpected” Discovery of Large “Pristine” Coral Reef “Unscathed by Climate Change”

(p. A7) An underwater mapping project recently took an unexpected twist off the coast of Tahiti, where deep sea explorers said this week that they had discovered a sprawling coral reef resembling a bed of roses that appeared to be largely unscathed by climate change.

Extending for about three kilometers (1.86 miles), the reef is remarkably well preserved and is among the largest ever found at its depth, according to those involved in the mapping project sponsored by UNESCO, the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Some even described the condition of the reef, hidden at depths between 30 meters (about 100 feet) and 100 meters in the crystalline waters of the South Pacific, as “pristine.”

Alexis Rosenfeld, an underwater photographer from Marseille, France, said on Thursday that the reef lived up to what he had envisioned when he first explored it shortly after its discovery in November [2021].

. . .

John Jackson, a film director with 1 Ocean who is involved with the project, compared the reef’s shape to lacework. In an interview on Thursday [January 20, 2022], he said that significant work remained when it came to underwater exploration, pointing out that only about 20 percent of the world’s seabeds had been mapped.

For the full story, see:

Neil Vigdor. “‘Pristine’ Coral Reef Resembling Bed of Roses Is Found Off the Coast of Tahiti.” The New York Times (Saturday, January 22, 2022): A7.

(Note: ellipsis, and bracketed year and date, added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date Jan. 20, 2022, and has the title “Sprawling Coral Reef Resembling Roses Is Discovered Off Tahiti.”)

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