Undersea Skyscraper


Live Science

The reef extends more than 500 meters below the surface.

Madeeha Akhtar, Columnist

While a group of scientists were mapping the ocean floor off the coast of Australia, they discovered an underwater coral reef tower located near the Great Barrier Reef. This ‘detached’ reef is the first to be discovered in more than 120 years, according to ABC News. It is taller than the Empire State Building in New York, which is 1,454 feet tall, while the newly discovered coral tower sits at a whopping 1,649 feet, stopping just 130 feet below the surface of the ocean.

It is no surprise that this discovery was found near the Great Barrier Reef, as it is the largest coral reef in the world, and spreads over 1,400 miles near the northeast coast of Australia, where many bizarre things are found. Thousands of underwater creatures have made this reef their home, as the Great Barrier Reef is home to over 1,500 different species of fish, according to the World WildLife Fund.

However, large does not necessarily mean healthy, and sadly, this is the case for the Great Barrier Reef. According to The New York Times, recent studies have shown that in the last 25 years, more than half of the coral species are dying. This is due to the rising ocean temperatures from the climate crisis. Luckily, however, the scientists say that the newly discovered coral reef tower is healthy and doesn’t show any signs of damage. 

Although the reef’s height is close to that of the Empire State Building, the reef itself looks nothing like it. The base of the coral tower is about a mile wide, reported Science Mag. From there, it narrows the higher you go. This tower, surprisingly, has seven other look-alikes. The other seven towers were discovered in the 1880’s near Northern Australia’s Cape York Peninsula. 

This amazing reef is sure to be studied by scientists in the upcoming years, and is an incredible discovery that will for sure be remembered as one of the greatest in all of the ocean. We have already found an underwater skyscraper, so who knows what’s next! At this rate, we’re on our way to Atlantis.