This coral reef resurrected itself — and showed scientists how to replicate it

Read the full story from NPR.

Though they may not know it, about half a billion people worldwide depend on the ecosystems created and sustained by corals. And with climate change threatening coral’s survival, marine scientist Enric Sala had a goal that might have seemed impossible.

“We wanted to get into a time machine, go back hundreds of years and actually see a coral reef like they used to be everywhere, before we started exploiting them and polluting them and killing them all over the world,” Sala said.

The goal was, in essence, made possible during an expedition that Sala led in 2009 with National Geographic Society. The team traveled to a corner of the South Pacific Ocean, to see if the vibrant and virtually untouched reefs there held any clues to bringing damaged reefs in other parts of the ocean back to health.

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