Finally, Some Good News About a Coral Reef For Once

Here’s some cool environmental news: a submarine launched from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza took pictures of a newly discovered coral reef at a depth of over 700 feet at the mouth of the Amazon, and now we can see them.


The Guardian reports that the reef was discovered in April of 2016, but Greenpeace has just started sharing photos of the muddy, complex web of life that runs about 600 miles from French Guiana to Brazil’s Maranhão state. The existence of the reef was a huge surprise, because most rivers tend to cut a swath through reef systems, preventing coral from growing. Coral also thrive in sunlit waters, and these ones are dank as hell.

Scientists have just started exploring, but they’ve already found “60 species of sponges, 73 species of fish, spiny lobsters and stars.” May one of these species lead the uprising against humans some day. And there are so many more to learn about:

“This reef system is important for many reasons, including the fact that it has unique characteristics regarding use and availability of light,” said Nils Asp, a researcher at the Federal University of Pará in Belém, Brazil, on board the Esperanza. “It has a huge potential for new species, and it is also important for the economic well-being of fishing communities along the Amazonian coastal zone.”


Anyway, just kidding, there is bad news about this coral reef. The area is targeted for drilling, and oil companies Total, BP and Petrobras are just waiting for the government’s authorization to go to town on all this miraculous life. Greenpeace Brazil said 95 wells have already been dug in the region, according to the Guardian. None of them have been viable as successful sources for gas or oil.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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Before I read your last paragraph I thought “yea, and it will probably spontaneously combust before this day is out.” Then I saw it and knew that we are no longer allowed to have nice things :(