Scientists have discovered a spectacular coral reef off the coast of Tahiti. The 3km-long reef lies 30 metres deep. The scientists think the corals and ocean vegetation contains previously undiscovered species. They have already found hundreds of rose-shaped coral, measuring two metres in diameter. Diver Alexis Rosenfeld said he was stunned when he found the reef. He wrote: "It was magical to witness giant, beautiful rose corals which stretch for as far as the eye can see. It was like a work of art." A scientist said: "In the middle of the biodiversity crisis, this is very good news."
The location of the reef means it is in pristine condition. Most reefs are in warmer waters, which makes them prone to bleaching from global warming. Tahiti's reef is deep enough and has sufficient sunlight to protect it from bleaching. UNESCO said deeper reefs are better protected from global warming. It believes the Tahiti reef is "one of the most extensive healthy coral reefs on record". It believes more mapping of the deep ocean should be undertaken. It said: "We know more about the surface of the Moon or the surface of Mars than the deeper part of the ocean."