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First Ever Coral Reefs Found In The Chilling Depths of Greenland

For the first time cold waters reefs have been found in the waters of Greenland, at a depth of about 3,000 feet below sea-level. Coral reefs are found usually in the tropical climates where water and weather conditions are favorable for their nurturing. There have been several coral species found earlier in Greenland but for the very first time, an entire reef has been discovered.

Researchers in the Cape Desolation, south of Ivittuut came across this reef just by co-incidence. Only the tropical regions are famous diving spots where people go chilling in the holidays. But for the first time, a reef has been found in Greenland giving prospects that this region could be open for divers in the near future.

The area where reef has been spotted is at a great chilling depth where not just the water is not-so-favorable but the currents too are strong enough not to let researchers reach there. Perhaps, this was the very reason why this reef remained hidden for so long.

The Canadian research vessel had gone there to collect water samples. The measuring instrument that was sent down to the depth came out completely distorted and along with it came a few pieces of broken coral branches. It was clear what led to the smashing of the instrument also giving way to the possibility of large community of corals down below.

Professor Ole Tendal from Denmark’s Natural History Museum identified the specimens that came along accidentally.

To further research on this, another Canadian research vessel was lowered to the site last fall in an attempt to get a clear view and a camera was lowered down on the reef. Helle Jorgensbye, from the University of Denmark, who was on the research vessel reported that they managed to capture some pictures of the reefs down there although at some point they almost lost their camera to an obstacle where the camera got struck.

Since a very long time, researchers have been investigating the existence of coral reefs in Norway and Iceland. There have been many findings about the Norwegian reef but this is for the first time when a reef has been spotted in Greenland. The Greenlandic reef is comprised from Lophelia stony corals.

Jorgensbye said that the reefs in Norway are known to grow up to 30 meters (98 feet) high and several kilometers extensive. The great Norwegian reefs are more than 8,000 years old, which brings out an assumption that they possibly started to grow after the disappearance of ice after the last ice age. He also said that the Greenlandic reef is almost certainly younger, and there is still nothing known about how old it is.