Giant Coral Found in Barrier Reef
The 400-year-old coral is more than 34 feet wide, but the living structure may be imperiled by human activities.Snorkelers swimming in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have stumbled upon a coral of epic proportions. Composed of living organisms, the gigantic mass is the widest coral ever found in the region and one of the oldest.
The coral, discovered this past March, measures 17.4 feet (5.3 meters) tall and 34.1 feet (10.4 meters) wide. That makes it the widest single coral structure and the sixth tallest in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, according to new research published in Scientific Reports. The coral is nearly 8 feet wider than the previous record holder in the Great Barrier Reef. Adjunct associate professor Adam Smith from James Cook University led the new research.