Sunday, February 03, 2008

Deepwater Irish Coral Reef

This is a coral reef 3,000 feet below the Irish Sea. No light ever reaches it. It is too deep. The corals are probably 100-1,000 years old. They grow more slowly than the slowest growing tree. Many of these coral reefs have been completely destroyed in the last 20 years by fishing trawlers that drag the ocean bottom. Those that are left will soon be destroyed.

Once destroyed they will take centuries or millennia to recover. Or, like the passenger pigeon, they might disappear from Earth forever.

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