Tahiti

The reef was found in November, during a diving expedition to a depth known as the ocean's "twilight zone" - part of a global seabed-mapping mission.
The reef was found in November, during a diving expedition to a depth known as the ocean's "twilight zone" - part of a global seabed-mapping mission.

Pristine coral reef discovered off Tahiti

A research mission, led by UNESCO, found the reef which stretches for nearly three kilometres and exists at depths down to 70 meters, or 230 feet. This is around the ocean's "twilight zone," where there's just enough light to sustain life, and below which the ocean transitions into a dark abyss.

The reef probably took around 25 years to grow. Some of the rose-shaped corals measure more than 2 metres in diameter. This is highly unusual because, up to now, the vast majority of the world’s known coral reefs sit at depths of up to 25m.

Tahiti's Humpback Whales

Breaching humpback whale, Tahiti. Photo by Gregory Lecoeur.

As our dive boat glided through Papeete Channel off the northern coast of Tahiti, two distinct spouts appeared on the horizon. We were carefully making our way toward them when suddenly two tails emerged out of the water and then majestically disappeared again. Benoit, our guide, carefully got into the water. He quietly swam in the wake of the whales until finally, he lifted his fist into the air to indicate their presence.