When the Nautilus of Titanic fame left Haifa in early September, the researchers on board aimed to scour deeper beneath the Mediterranean Sea’s surface than had previously been possible. Within two and a half weeks, the ship’s advanced robots were exploring at unprecedented depths of 1.7km. At 7oo m, the scientists from Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences led by Zvi Ben Avraham were astounded to discover a coral reef that extends a few kilometers approximately 40km off Tel Aviv’s shore.
They announced this discovery after returning from their expedition towards the end of September, as did we, but they have since released images of a world never before seen. Not only do they hope that this precious reef will give government greater impetus to protect the Mediterranean in the form of marine reserves and other anthropogenic limits, but they also hope to learn more about the mechanism of coral survival both historically and within the context of current climate changes.
The Chimera Monstrosa split off from the shark family 400 millions years ago.
At only 10cm, this crab was difficult for scientists to identify.
This is one of two shipwrecks discovered 40 km off Tel Aviv’s coast.
The Deep Sea Coral Reef.
All images courtesy of Haifa Univeristy