A huge raft of rocks, the size of Manhattan, is floating towards Queensland, Australia carrying marine organisms that scientists are hoping will help replenish the Great Barrier Reef. The pumice was created when an underwater volcano erupted off Tonga and scientists are saying it will bring millions of new coral to the dying Great Barrier Reef.
Some of the stones are as large as basketballs and have formed a giant sheet stretching about 58 square miles — the equivalent area as 20,000 football fields.
Scott Bryan, an associate professor at the Queensland University of Technology, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that the raft is floating toward Australia and should arrive at the coast within the next year. He says by that time, the raft will be “covered in a whole range of organisms of algae and barnacles and corals and crabs and snails and worms.”
“Each piece of pumice is a rafting vehicle. It’s a home and a vehicle for marine organisms to attach and hitch a ride across the deep ocean to get to Australia,” Bryan told The Guardian.
Bryan said the organisms will help regenerate the Great Barrier Reef’s corals, half of which have been destroyed by climate change.