Scientists haven't ruled out finding more detached reefs either, with these sorts of reefs surrounded by cool deep oceans less likely to be affected by rising temperatures than other reefs, acting as a sanctuary for species.
An wonderful discovery was made by scientists in the Great Barrier Reef recently that puts some of the tallest buildings in the world to shame. The team confirmed the finding a few days later using a remotely operated vehicle, according to a statement released by the group.
Australian scientists have discovered a coral reef that's millions of years old and dwarfs the Empire State Building.
The team then conducted a dive on October 25 using an underwater robot.
RV Falkor explores the bed near the Ribbon Reef, near Cape York.
The bottom of the blade-like reef is 1.5 kilometres wide, then rises 500 metres to its shallowest depth of just 40 metres below the sea surface.
Plenty of reef fish have already been spotted around it too, from small hatchetfish to grey reef sharks.
That understanding is crucial, given the threats that the Great Barrier Reef now faces.
The impressiveness of the discovery also comes with a tinge of sadness: we know that these majestic coral reefs, so essential to marine ecosystems, are under increasing threat from climate change.
"This newly discovered detached reef adds to the seven other tall detached reefs in the area", he said today.
"To find a new half-a-kilometre tall reef in the offshore Cape York area of the well-recognised Great Barrier Reef shows how mysterious the world is just beyond our coastline", says oceanographer Jyotika Virmani, executive director at the Schmidt Ocean Institute.
Great Barrier Reef Legacy's Living Coral Biobank project aims to secure the long-term future and biodiversity of corals worldwide with the primary goal of the facility to store, keep alive and nurture over 800 species of the world's hard corals which can be used to rehabilitate reefs in nature in the future.
While Great Barrier Reef Legacy appeals for investors to come on board, divers will start collecting corals for the biobank next week.