We all believe that climate change has a huge impact on coral bleaching leaving the invertebrate animals left to die. Maybe not all, as corals under the Gulf of Mexico prove otherwise.
For marine biologists finding new underwater species is more like finding gold. But discovering an ancient and well-preserved coral garden is like finding a diamond.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists are studying various surroundings in the Gulf of Mexico. During the course of exploration, they stumbled upon a concealed territory of corals which seems to be more than a hundred years old. It lies about 7,500 feet below the Mexican water.
One of the expedition scientists exclaimed, “This is a truly magnificent garden of coral fans, I don’t think we’ve seen these densities yet in the Gulf of Mexico.”
The coral garden came into sight with the help of a remote-operated submersible vehicle or ROV. Armed with various efficient tools, they were capable of capturing magnificent images of the corals. Based on the footages, the corals sit on blocks facing the current while they abundantly feed and remove organisms at the same time.
Bamboo corals comprise the coral garden. This type of coral is a congregation of small organisms known as polyps. It feeds by sieving smaller-sized organisms such as plankton. Its bony structure resembles tree-like branches and contains calcium carbonate.
The scientists became more amazed at the teeming life around the coral garden despite the darkness of the surroundings. They saw different species using the submersible Deep Discoverer which captured 3D images of the species living in and out of the shipwreck. According to the NOAA researchers, the wreck could have dated back to 1830.
Some of the species that live in the coral garden include snake star, squat lobsters, spider crabs, and chimaera fishes to name a few.