Groundbreaking Coral Reef Recovery Method Accidentally Discovered By A Scientist

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As he was working with corals at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida, Dr. David Vaughan accidentally discovered a groundbreaking coral reef recovery method that makes corals grow by 40 times faster than usual.

The breakthrough finding occurred when the scientist tried to pick up a coral from a deep tank, but it broke into a dozen pieces. To his surprise, the damaged coral recovered in just three weeks, compared with the average of three years. Commonly, it takes coral reefs between 25 and 75 years to reach sexual maturity, meaning that it would take about six years to “plant” approximately 600 corals.

However, Vaughan’s method of breaking up corals for reproduction, dubbed as “micro-fragmentation,” takes place by 40 times faster than the corals’ average.

“This is now a discovery that can give real hope for our coral reefs that has never been there before. So, I postponed my retirement, until I see a million corals replanted back on the reef,” said David Vaughan for BBC.

Groundbreaking Coral Reef Recovery Method Accidentally Discovered By A Scientist

“Little did I know that one elkhorn coral attached itself to the bottom of the aquarium. So, when I went to move it, it stuck, and I heard a breaking sound. And it had broken into many tiny pieces. They grew back to the same size in just a few weeks that it had taken three years to grow,” explained Dr. Vaughan.

In addition to that, Vaughan also stated that the method is working with every single species of coral found in the Florida Reef. According to Vaughan and his co-workers, the new so-called “micro-fragmentation” method is so compelling that the researchers don’t have enough tanks to store the corals they generated.

Next, Vaughan and his team plan to “plant” 100,000 corals on the Florida Reef Track by 2019 and share their groundbreaking coral reef recovery method with conservationists from around the Earth so that they can recover the endangered coral reefs.