Scientists in Ireland have discovered a coral reef off the coast of Kerry, Ireland in waters about 700 meters below the surface. The Irish scientists aboard the Celtic Explorer research vessel were scanning the seabed along the route where the first transatlantic cable was laid in 1857 when they discovered the reef while exploring the Moira Mounds and Porcupine Bank Canyon.
Other Deep Water Coral Discoveries
The corals so far discovered include crinoids, black corals (Leiopathes sp.), Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata
According to the Celtic Explorer blog that the scientists setup to detail their findings, some of the coral carbonate mounds are more than 100 meters tall hosting what scientists Graham Ryan described as an “oasis of life in the deep ocean supporting vibrant ecosystems.” The corals so far discovered include crinoids, black corals (Leiopathes sp.), Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata. Sea pens and anemones were also found on the ocean floor.
Cold water corals are not unique in the world’s oceans, though they are often discovered by chance as much of the deep ocean still remains uncharted.