A coral reef, like those that populate the Red Sea, has been found off the coast of Monopoli (Bari). The exceptional discovery has been made by the researchers from the Biology department of the University of Bari led by director Giuseppe Corriero, in collaboration with researchers from the Tor Vergata University of Rome and from the Salento area also participated in the research, with robots and special immersion technologies.
The coral reef is located at the impressive depth of 40 to 55 meters, and about two kilometers from the coast of Monopoli. However, the hypothesis of the scholars is that the front of the barrier could be extending much further: in the direction of Bari, on one side, and up to Otranto, on the other.
Corriero said that, in the Mediterranean Sea, it is the first time that such a reef is identified. It has characteristics very similar to the equatorial ones, but what determines its uniqueness is its depth. “In the case of the Maldive or Australian reefs – Corriero explained – the processes of symbiosis between the madrepores (marine animals that make up the coral reefs) are facilitated by the light, while our barrier lives in shadow and therefore the madrepores constitute these imposing structures of calcium carbonate in the absence of algae .”
For this reason, the colors are more subtle than the better-known coral reefs of the Pacific, with shades ranging from orange to red, up to purple.
In order to protect the hidden treasure, the researchers have already informally alerted the Regional Parks and Biodiversity Protection Office.
Ilona Catani Scarlett