Researchers made the discovery when they studied sulfur-oxidising bacteria in methane seeps on the ocean floor at the Del Mar East Methane Seep Field, USA. These seeps contain collections of limestone that trap large amounts of carbon.
They then observed that in the process of oxidising sulfur, the bacteria creates an acidic reaction that dissolves the rocks and this causes the carbon trapped inside the limestone to be released.
Their findings was published in the The ISME Journal: Multidisciplinary Journal of Microbial Ecology.
The coral sanctuary is a wildlife hotspot where species are thriving despite warming events that have killed their neighbours