Scientists recently made a surprising discovery of a 600-mile long deepwater reef system below the Amazon’s muddy waters. More than 60 species of sponges, 73 species of fish, spiny lobsters, stars and other reef life have been found there.

Scientists recently made a surprising discovery of a 600-mile long deepwater reef system below the Amazon’s muddy waters. Photo credit: Modis / NASA

This is good news for marine life, especially in the wake of massive coral bleaching around the world. However, the newly discovered reef is already in grave danger from oil exploration and drilling at the mouth of Amazon—some of it possibly right on top of the reef.

A map of the Amazon shelf showing the newly discovered reef structures in yellow. Photo credit: Carlos Rezende (UENF) and Fabiano Thompson (UFRJ)

For a deeper dive: National Geographic, Guardian, Live Science, International Business Times, Inquisitr, Christian Science Monitor, NPR, Mashable

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