85 miles of deep-sea coral reef found off Atlantic Coast

The corals were found about 160 miles off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina.


NSFW    ATLANTIC COAST — Researchers on board the research vessel (RV) Atlantis have discovered a deep-sea coral reef about 160 miles off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina.
According to HuffPost, a human-operated submersible named Alvin was deployed from the RV Atlantis, and its cameras discovered enormous cold-water coral populations about 0.5 miles below the ocean surface.
Scientists used Alvin to explore the reef and collect coral samples on Aug. 23 and Aug. 24.

The team found large amounts of Lophelia pertusa, a branching, whitish coral found in cold waters.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), L. pertusa can survive in deep-seas by using stinging tentacles to stun its prey and guide food into its stomach.
The corals found by the Atlantis were located about 16 miles to the northwest of corals found earlier in the summer by the NOAA RV Okeanos Explorer.

The coral-covered area explored by the Okeanos and the Atlantis run for an estimated 85 miles, layered with massive, rocky piles of dead coral likely accumulated over many thousands of years, according to expedition lead scientist Erik Cordes, reported HuffPost.
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