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The new wonder of Puglia: discovered the first coral reef in the Mediterranean

The golden age of Puglia is not likely to stop: not only dream beaches and beautiful coastlines. From now another maritime wonder to boast of: a coral reef, the first one discovered in the Mediterranean Sea.

This incredible news was announced with an article published in the journal Scientific Reports on March 5 by the research group of the University of Bari led by Giuseppe Corriero.
The article announced that in the Adriatic Sea, off the coast of Monopoli, there is a coral reef. It is at least 2.5 kilometers long, although it is thought to have a larger extension, possibly from Bari to Otranto, with some interruptions. It is located at a depth between 30 and 55 meters below sea level, therefore a greater depth than the Caribbean or Maldives coral reefs.

Precisely for this reason, explains Professor Corriero, the structure of the Mediterranean reef is different. In the case of Maldivian or Australian reefs the symbiotic processes between the madrepores [marine animals that constitute the coral reefs] are facilitated by light, while the Apulian barrier lives in semi-darkness and therefore the madrepores constitute these structures in absence of algae. This is why the colours of the Apulian coral reef are less vivid.

Coral Reef Puglia
Two photographs of the coral reef discovered off the coast of Puglia (Scientific Reports / Giuseppe Corriero and others)

In order to safeguard the coral reef, the Puglia Regional Government and the Harbor Offices have announced their intention to start the process to create a new marine protected area, in correspondence with the discovery.

The coral reef, due to its depth, will hardly become a tourist attraction, however it will surely bring more prestige to Puglia, a region that really never ceases to amaze.




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