Marine biologists have unearthed spectacular coral reef off coast of Tahiti in South Pacific. The 3km-long reef lies at depth of 30 metres. The scientists believe array of corals and ocean vegetation contains previously undiscovered marine species. They have already found hundreds of rose-shaped coral, some of which measure over two metres in diameter. Deep-sea diver Alexis Rosenfeld said he was stunned when he came across reef. He wrote: "It was magical to witness giant, beautiful rose corals which stretch for as far as eye can see. It was like work of art." Scientist Laetitia Hedouin said: "It's very healthy reef. In the middle of biodiversity crisis, this is very good news."
Scientists say location of the Tahiti reef means it is in pristine condition. Most of world's reefs are in warmer waters. This makes them prone to bleaching effects of global warming. Tahiti's reef is deep enough to protect it from bleaching. There is still sufficient sunlight at 30 metres for coral to grow and reproduce. UNESCO said: "We think that deeper reefs may be better protected from global warming." It believes Tahiti reef is "one of most extensive healthy coral reefs on record". It added that more mapping of deep ocean needs to be undertaken. It said: "We know more about surface of the Moon or surface of Mars than the deeper part of ocean."