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Marine biologists have unearthed a spectacular coral reef the coast of Tahiti the South Pacific. The 3km-long reef lies a depth of 30 metres. The scientists believe the array corals and ocean vegetation contains previously undiscovered marine species. They have already found hundreds rose-shaped coral, some which measure over two metres diameter. Deep-sea diver Alexis Rosenfeld said he was stunned when he came across the reef. He wrote: "It was magical to witness giant, beautiful rose corals which stretch as far as the eye can see. It was like a work art." Scientist Laetitia Hedouin said: "It's a very healthy reef. In the middle the biodiversity crisis, this is very good news."

Scientists say the location the Tahiti reef means it is pristine condition. Most the world's reefs are in warmer waters. This makes them prone to the bleaching effects global warming. Tahiti's reef is deep enough to protect it bleaching. There is still sufficient sunlight at 30 metres coral to grow and reproduce. UNESCO said: "We think that deeper reefs may be better protected global warming." It believes the Tahiti reef is "one of the most extensive healthy coral reefs record". It added that more mapping of the deep ocean needs to be undertaken. It said: "We know more the surface of the Moon or the surface of Mars than the deeper part the ocean."

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