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An incredibly resilient coral in the Great Barrier Reef offers hope for the future

A coral the size of a carousel is the widest known in the Great Barrier Reef.

Found just off the coast of Goolboodi Island in Northeast Australia, this reef-building Porites measures 10.4 meters in diameter — earning it the nickname Muga dhambi, or “big coral,” from the Indigenous custodians of the island, the Manbarra people.

In addition to its record-setting width, Muga dhambi stands a little over 5 meters tall, making it the sixth tallest coral in the Great Barrier Reef, researchers report August 19 in Scientific Reports.

“It’s a stand-alone coral … and we don’t see many that size,” says marine scientist Nathan Cook of Reef Ecologic, a climate and environmental consulting firm in Townsville, Australia.

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