Puglia also has a coral reef
Discovery of the first coral reef in the Mediterranean Sea
On March 5, an article was published about an unexpected discovery: in the Adriatic Sea, off the coast of Monopoli, there is a small coral reef. From the first studies it is thought to be at least 2.5 kilometers long, although it is not excluded that it may have a greater extension. It is even hypothesized that it could extend from Bari to Otranto, with some interruptions. What is currently ascertained is it is found at a depth between 30 and 55 meters below sea level, therefore greater than those of Caribbean coral reefs or the Maldives.
Given the high depth, unfortunately it is not open to most people, as experience in diving at these depths is necessary and, above all, it is necessary to have the appropriate equipment for the purpose.
Precisely because it is located deeper than the more well-known coral reefs, the structure of this Mediterranean reef is different. In fact, our newly discovered barrier lives in dim light and therefore the madrepores that make up these colored carbonate structures are not helped by the light in their formation process. This is also one of the reasons why the colors seen in the photographs of the Apulian coral reef are less bright, but resemble those of the Red Sea coral reef, which is in turn deeper than the Australian and Caribbean ones. The scientific term to define them is "mesophotic", which precisely means that they receive little light.
The reef was discovered thanks to the analysis of an underwater video by a researcher interested in studying it to look for the bivalve molluscs, the object of her study. The same video, made by a wire-guided robot, was shot a few years ago along with hundreds of hours of footage, looking for red coral meadows and certainly no reef was hoped for. Before arriving at the publication of the article there were several years of studies, carried out in collaboration with the University of Salento.
The Apulian reef is the first coral reef found in the Mediterranean Sea, but it cannot be excluded that there are still others not discovered because at great depths.