Recently discovered coral reefs deep in the Gulf of Mexico may date back more than 1,000 years. Sitting at more than 7,500 feet under the surface, the coral reef is being described by scientists as a “hidden garden of bamboo coral”—and it’s all captured on video.
Researchers from NOAA documented the deep-sea reef on a recent 23-day expedition aboard the Okeanos research vessel. Using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) the crew was able to explore un-diveable depths from the surface.
The longstanding success of bamboo coral at such depths is the result of a convergence of elements: Plentiful zooplankton food and stable conditions. More than just the coral, the expedition also documented deep-sea fish, mud volcanoes, and even shipwrecks.
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