Amazing discovery: a new, hidden Great Barrier Reef 15



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In the last few years we’ve been bombarded with troubling news about our dwindling Great Barrier Reef. So it’s nice to wake up to the news that Mother Nature still has a few tricks up her sleeve.

A stunning new ecosystem has been discovered off the coast of Victoria at Wilsons Promontory National Park – colourful and teeming with life – and it’s already being said to rival our most famous reef in size and diversity.

However, this one might not be quite so easy to visit on a sunny weekend away – at least not without some serious deep sea diving equipment. This reef lies far deeper – up to 100 metres – and has only been explored so far by robots.

While the Great Barrier Reef makes it easy to admire nature’s strange beauty above the water, much of the deeper sea remains a mystery us, according to Parks Victoria Marine Science Manager Steffan Howe.

However, technological development on unmanned underwater probes is making it easier and easier to discover these previously-untouchable areas – and in some cases, exceed even the wildest expectations.

“The maps identified some amazing underwater structures very deep beneath the ocean, but we did not know what sort of marine life was there”, he said.

“The resulting footage shows that the deep reef habitats are teeming with life and are home to rich and abundant marine ecosystems that are comparable to Australia’s better-known tropical reef areas”.

Some of the most impressive discoveries include massive coral fans, large sea whips, complex underwater dune systems and vibrant, colourful sponge gardens.

The fish life is just as impressive, with enormous 90 metre deep pits filled with schools of fish – individually up to 80cm long. The area is filled with previously hard-to-find species, including the rare Australian barracuda and Longsnout Boarfish.

See the first footage below, and tell us: are you excited?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. It is beautiful, I hope they leave it alone and make sure it is protected, our Reefs are living treasures and we don’t value them enough

    1 REPLY
    • Meanwhile the Labor team who were voted into power in Qld to protect the Reef and now killing it off quicker than the Newman government. Time to not vote for either of the major two political teams if saving the Reef means anything to you.

  2. Yep get out there and have a look at all of our reefs. The Great Barrier is under threat in a lot of places and as the oceans warm all of the other reefs down the east coast are changing. A lot of the kelp beds in the reefs south of Sydney has dissapeared with the warming and kelp is one of the main things which support the eco systems in the temperate and cold water reef areas.

    Caught my first reef fish in 1949 off Stone Island, dived on the GBR in the late 50s and early 60s and saw good and bad conditions even in those days. Some of the best parts of the GBR are now up in the islands of PNG and there are a few operators doing diving and/or fishing up there.

    Yes there is a lot we have not seen in our waters and very few of us Aussies realise what is happening within two of the largest weather engines on the planet, ie the Pacific and Southern Oceans.

    Enough Waffle. `•.¸¸.•´¯`•…¸}>`•.¸¸.•´¯`•…¸}> B|

    1 REPLY
    • My first coral view was at Coral Bay North West Australia… BEFORE everyone else found it… Ningaloo Reef was STUNNING…hope it still is..

  3. Keep us away from it. Send in expert film makers get the best pics. One foot print not thousands.

  4. Wilsons Promontory National Park is itself a marvel of Mother Nature and is but one of the many natural wonders that make the Gippsland area of southern Victoria a truly beautiful place.

  5. I love it. Beautiful. Let’s hope it is cherished and protected from greedy people who will try to mine or dredge it. Snorkeling among coral reefs is one of my most favorite things to do.

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