Huge coral reef discovered at the mouth of the Amazon River

Scientists last week announced they have discovered a 3,600 sq mile coral reef underneath the muddy waters of the Amazon basin off the coast of South America. This extraordinary find is so unusual as normally large rivers flush nutrients into marine waters and change salinity, chemistry, and light penetration, which blocks the formation of reefs and in this area it had been presumed that given the Amazon is one of the muddiest rivers in the world, that sediment would coat the floor and nothing could survive. However this reef is surviving deep below the outflow of the river, whilst the area is not as diverse as a tropical reef, scientists have so far found over 60 species of sponges, 73 species of fish, spiny lobsters, stars and other reef life. This discovery is certainly exciting, and shows that despite living in an informed and explored world nature can still surprise us!

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Connel Bradwell
I am an environmental educator, wildlife blogger, birder and conservation graduate. Based in the UK and Canada. Love the natural world, my personal blog can be found at

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