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Scientists have discovered extensive, ancient deep-sea coral reefs within the Galápagos Marine Reserve (GMR)—the first of their kind ever to be documented inside the marine protected area (MPA) since it was established in 1998. The reef, found at 400-600 meters (1,310-1,970 feet) depth at the summit of a previously unmapped seamount in the central part of the archipelago, supports a breathtaking mix of deep marine life.

Observations were made using the newly upgraded human-occupied vehicle Alvin. Daniel Fornari, marine geologist, and Emeritus Research Scholar at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is a co-lead on the expedition. Read the full press release at whoi.edu.

Other coverage

Gizmodo: See a Newly Discovered 'Pristine' Deep-Sea Coral Reef in the Galápagos

IFL Science: First "Pristine" Deep-Sea Coral Reef Found Off The Galápagos Islands

ON&T: Scientists Discover Pristine Deep-Sea Coral Reefs in the Galápagos Marine Reserve

Smithsonian Magazine: See the Pristine Coral Reefs Found off the Galápagos Islands