Robots have a bit of a bad reputation but thanks to new advanced technology a coral reef with beautiful corals, mind-blowing sponge gardens, and colourful fish has been found. The coral reef lies in the waters outside Melbourne in Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park. The footage of the reef was captured by a robot working in its deepest waters. This magical and important reef lies in water as deep as 95 metres.
It came as a surprise that a reef so deep down could with filled with so much life. And the team who monitored the images captured by the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) were pleased to see coral that they initially did not believe existed in these waters. They discovered big cup or plate sponges that had never seen in Victoria before. Fish like Jackass Morwong, Australian barracuda and Longsnout Boarfish were also found. Stunning coral fans and dunes around 30 metres high were also discovered.
Australia has the most diverse reef in tropical waters, the Great Barrier Reef, but this newly discovered reef has biodiverse sponge gardens, with a diversity per square metre that is equal even higher than you can see on any coral reef.
Surprisingly the reef is found in the most wild area, with Bass Strait currents squeezing past the tip of the Wilson Promontory National park. There are also oceanic swell that interact right at the tip of the promontory.
Discovery of new reefs happens regularly as we explore more and more of the ocean and recent discoveries have been made in the Mediterranean, Seychelles, Ireland, and Greenland. Yet, the surprising thing about this discovery is the biodiversity. Can it be compared to the Great Barrier Reef? Of course not, no reef should be compared to another. They are all important and should be protected and admired for their own sake. But one thing is sure, this reef is a real treasure trove.