About Alien Reefs

Coral Reefs are some of the richest hotspots of biodiversity on the planet – but they don’t only occur in warm, tropical waters. In some of the ocean’s coldest, darkest depths, they are thriving.

Alien Reefs

This is the world of Cold Water Corals. Hidden from view, they criss-cross the planet from the deep water tropics to the freezing extremes of the poles. Some have never been seen by the human eyes.

There are as many species of coral in these deep sea reefs as there are in their shallow, warm water counterparts and they may exceed the area covered by reefs in the tropics. These species are unfathomably old with individual corals thought to be 10,000 years old. The structures they form can be traced back more than two million years. They may be the oldest living marine creatures on Earth and the giant structures they form support a huge diversity of other life forms. It’s like finding a tropical rainforest in the Arctic, but as fast as we are discovering their potential we are destroying what could prove to be one of our greatest biological assets.

For Natali Tesche-Ricciardi, it’s time to unlock the secrets of these alien reefs and meet the strange creatures that call them home.