Two hundred and fifty metres below the surface of the sea, the water is cold and in perpetual darkness. Less is known about the floor of the world’s oceans than the surface of the moon. It is only in the past few decades that scientists have been able to explore this deep underwater world, using remote operated vehicles, or ROVs.
For the first time it’s enabled scientists to see, with their own eyes, what lies in these murky depths. One of their most startling discoveries has been the abundance of coral reefs, living hundreds of metres below the surface of the sea, at around 4 to 13 degrees centigrade. What’s more, many of these reefs seem to play a significant role in the health of sea life in the area, and harbour an incredible diversity of life. Earth Report trawls the depths to survey the reefs and the threat to their existence.