SURPRISING GREAT BARRIER REEF DISCOVERY

A reminder for iUniversity Prep students that the Earth holds things yet to be discovered

Eve Bamber, News Section Editor

Whether you are learning basic science, biology, or even complex chemistry, as students we can’t help but assume that everything we need to know is in our textbooks. While it may appear that these books contain everything we need to know to get through our exams, they certainly don’t contain everything there is to know, as I’m sure many iUniversity Prep students that have traveled the world can assure you.

 

Discovering something new can often make us giddy. Whether it’s a new ice cream flavor our taste buds haven’t been graced with before or the realization of how comfy sweatpants can be, the minute that lightbulb goes off in our heads can be a truly extraordinary moment. 

 

Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to even believe that there are things yet to be discovered and that we still live in a world enveloped by the great unknown. But what else could there possibly be? What could we have missed in the six million years that humans have inhabited the earth? What is there left for us to learn? Recently, a surprising discovery reminded us that these questions are still very valid, and we shouldn’t forget there is an unknown still left to explore.

 

Many iUniversity Prep students, including myself, have either visited Australia or are from Australia. If you haven’t been, it’s probably on your bucket list. iUniversity Prep, even though it’s based in Texas, is made up of students that are living all around the world, some even in Australia!  Personally, after spending most of my childhood in Melbourne, Australia, I grew up surrounded by nature and developed a strong sense of pride in the care that I contribute to the environment around me. Australia is such a beautiful place and holds many natural and man-made beauties. One of these being the magnificent and mysterious Great Barrier Reef.

 

On October 20th, 2020 scientists were in the process of underwater mapping the seafloor when they stumbled upon a gigantic reef at the northern tip of the well-known Australian Great Barrier Reef. 

 

The Great Barrier Reef itself is the largest collection of reefs and is filled with a mindblowing 400 types of coral and 1,500 species of fish. Beyond this, the Great Barrier Reef is home to many unique species that are of great interest to scientists all over the world and generates a huge amount of tourism, and is a vital part of Australia’s economy. 

 

However, thanks to the large amounts of pollution that enter our oceans every day, the infamous reef has lost half of its corals since 1995 and continues to be drained of its color and diversity every second that pollution continues.

 

This newly discovered reef is a huge shock, not only because it seems to be in better condition than the main reef, but because of the fact that this reef is enormous in magnitude. This new detached reef stands tall at a massive 500 meters (1,640 feet) high. To put this in better perspective, this reef is taller than our long-beloved New York symbol, the Empire State Building. 

 

How could this colossal reef that reaches higher than one of the highest skyscrapers only be a new discovery? How could we have missed something that should be so hard to miss? 

 

These questions continue to baffle many, but this very discovery is an evident reminder that we will continue to see many discoveries like these in our lifetimes. When you grow up, if you have hopes of taking a path that involves anything from science to exploration, discoveries like these reassure us that these jobs are still important as our generation continues to add to the textbooks. 

 

At iUniversity Prep, because of the diverse location of many students, we are reminded that there is always something new for us to explore. Even those that have dwelled in a similar space their whole lives are reminded by others at our school that there is a whole world outside of Texas. 

 

Our school is not only unique in the fact that we have a diverse student body but our individually as a virtual school shines through our wide range of school-related clubs and extracurriculars. Whether you want to dabble in the culinary arts, try your hand at gardening, or extend your view of the world’s many cultures, iUniversity Prep far exceeds the average school. At iUniversity Prep, student’s imaginations are continuously expanded and are frequently encouraging students to explore beyond their everyday lives. 

 

Wallace Stevens rightfully stated, “It is the unknown that excites the ardor of scholars, who, in the known alone, would shrivel up with boredom.” 

 

It is the unknown that inspires our education and motivates us to learn and expand our horizons every day in our classes. Sitting at our desks and rigorously training our brains is the first step that will influence a wave of discoveries that will continuously occur, as long as we have curious minds willing to explore the glorious unknown that adds excitement to our everyday lives.

 

Citations:

“Great Barrier Reef: Scientists Find Reef Taller than Empire State Building.” BBC News, BBC, 28 Oct. 2020, www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-54716546. 

Chow, Denise. “Coral Reef Taller than the Empire State Building Discovered in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 27 Oct. 2020, www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/coral-reef-taller-empire-state-building-discovered-australia-s-great-n1244955. 

Nield, David. “Colossal Reef Discovered Off Australia’s Coast Is Taller Than Empire State Building.” ScienceAlert, www.sciencealert.com/a-new-reef-discovered-off-australia-s-coast-is-taller-than-the-empire-state-building.