Advert

There’s A Giant Volcanic Rock Floating Towards The Great Barrier Reef And It Might Actually Do Some Good

Published 
| Last updated 

There’s A Giant Volcanic Rock Floating Towards The Great Barrier Reef And It Might Actually Do Some Good

Usually when you hear of giant rocks hurtling towards you, it's generally cause for concern; but strangely not in this case.

Earlier this month an Australian couple on a worldwide sailing adventure came across a giant volcanic pumice (three times the size of Sydney Harbour) floating off the coast of Tonga as a result of a recent underwater volcanic eruption.

Loading…

The couple posted a few photos of the pumice to Facebook and within days received a long list of requests from scientists and university professors asking for specimens for further research.

Advert

Associate Professor Scott Bryan at Queensland's University of Technology, who has been studying underwater volcanic activity for over two decades, believes the floating rock island could reach Australia within seven to twelve months, bringing with it a host of marine life that could potentially revive the badly damaged Great Barrier Reef.

Bryan said: "In this 150-odd square kilometres of pumice out there right now, there's probably billions to trillions of pieces of pumice all floating together, and each piece of pumice is a vehicle for some marine organism. Organisms such as algae, barnacles, snails, crabs and possibly even corals could attach themselves to the pumice raft, serving as a natural mechanism for species to colonise, restock and grow in a new environment."

Rising ocean temperatures brought on by climate change, have resulted in devastating bleaching to the Great Barrier Reef, forcing the coral to expel nutrient-rich algae, which causes the coral to lose its colour and die.

The warmer the ocean gets, the less algae the corals have to keep them alive, but the pumice raft has the potential to bring new, healthy coral to the reef.

Advert
Credit: Sail Surf ROAM
Credit: Sail Surf ROAM

Although, not everyone agrees.

Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Australia warned that: "If the planet continues to warm, the world's coral reefs won't be saved by a pumice raft or any other technological tools."

Advert

"Reefs will be gone unless we tackle anthropogenic heating," Hughes warned, describing the dangers of human activities such as burning fossil fuels.

So even though the giant rock could mean a boost to the marine life of the Great Barrier Reef, unless we change our carbon emission habits, the reef is still on the road to destruction.

To pressure the Australian Government into taking action against the threats currently facing the Great Barrier Reef, click here and help make the Great Barrier Reef an Australian citizen, so she has the rights and protections that all great Aussies deserve.

CITIZEN REEF Supporting Partner
CITIZEN REEF Supporting Partner

Featured Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory / Joshua Stevens

Topics: Environment, climate change, ocean, Australia, Citizen Reef

LADBible Australia
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

News

Cops Swarm Woman's Garden After Reports Of 'Dead Body'

3 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

News

Toby Carvery Stops Diners Filling Own Plates As Part Of New Rules From Monday

3 hours ago