A large deep coral reef was discovered in French Polynesia, not far from Tahiti, as part of the 1 Ocean mission carried out under the aegis of Unesco, which made the announcement on Thursday January 20. Measuring 3 kilometers long and a few tens of meters wide, this healthy reef is found at depths between 30 and 65 meters. It is made up of large rose-shaped corals, some of which reach 2 meters in diameter. This is a rare find, as most known coral reefs in the world do not exceed 25 meters in depth.
With an exceptionally high coral cover, this site is of great interest to scientists. It could be one of the largest deep reefs in the world, in an unparalleled state of conservation. This unique coral reef extends over several hectares and inspires its viewer with an indescribable feeling of magic.
Biologist at the Center for Insular Research and Environmental Observatory (Criobe), Laetitia Hédouin was part of the mission and underlines that, if the corals of Polynesia suffered a major bleaching episode in 2019, this does not seem to have affected the newly unearthed reef: “We believe that deeper reefs may be better protected from global warming,” she comments.