First posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 10:26 AM EST | Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 10:36 AM EST
Canadian researchers accidentally stumbled across a cold-water coral reef off southern Greenland, a new study says.
Researcher Helle Jorgensbye of the Technical University of Denmark said unlike reefs in tropical areas, the first ever Greenlandic reef is unlikely to become a tourist destination for divers because there are very strong currents.
The study said the reef, which lives in total darkness, was discovered when people aboard a Canadian research vessel needed to take some water samples. They put measuring instruments into the water to a depth of 900 metres and the equipment came back smashed and with several pieces of coral branches.
"At first the researchers were swearing and cursing at the smashed equipment and were just about to throw the pieces of coral back into the sea, when luckily they realised what they were holding," Jorgensbye said in a press release.
He said there are coral reefs in Norway and Iceland, so the Greenland find isn't surprising, but there is still a lot to learn about it.
Coral from the newly discovered reef off southern Greenland. (Bedford Institute of Oceanography/Handout/QMI Agency)
A rare photo of coral from the newly discovered reef off southern Greenland. (Bedford Institute of Oceanography/Handout/QMI Agency)
Canadian researchers discover coral reef off Greenland's southern coast | World | News | Toronto Sun