Researchers have just made a remarkable discovery in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia. While mapping the seafloor off the coast of far north Queensland state, scientists onboard the RV Falkor stumbled upon a huge detached coral reef — the first one to be found in the last 120 years. This detached coral reef is more than 500 meters (1,640 feet) tall, according to the Schmidt Ocean Institute, the foundation facilitating the expedition. That’s about one and a half times as tall as the Eiffel Tower, or one and three-tenths as high as the Empire State Building. Broad mapping profile of new 500 m detached reef. Image by Schmidt Ocean Institute. “[It’s exciting] that we can still find such unusually tall … reefs in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park,” Robin Beaman, the expedition leader and a marine geologist at James Cook University, told Mongabay in an email from aboard the RV Falkor. “[P]eople … have been mapping the Great Barrier Reef since 1770 when James Cook first sailed here. Since then, we have been progressively mapping the shallower coral reefs with technologies as advanced as airborne lidar bathymetry. But it still takes a modern multibeam-sonar equipped vessel, like the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s RV Falkor, to look in the right place and then do the 100% systematic mapping required in the deeper and more remote waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, to reveal such surprising discoveries.” Last week, the researchers found the large reef while on…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer