An Australian scientist has discovered what could be the world’s rarest coral in the remote North Pacific Ocean

The unique Pacific elkhorn coral was found by coral researcher Dr Zoe Richards of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS).

The coral bears a close physical resemblance to the critically endangered and fast-vanishing elkhorn coral of the Atlantic Ocean, but genetic analysis has shown it to be a different species.

Dr Richards says “When I first saw it, I was absolutely stunned. The huge colonies – five metres across and nearly two metres high with branches like an elk’s antlers – were like nothing I’d seen before in the Pacific Ocean”

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