Gigantic 'raft' of volcanic rock could help heal Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Published: Aug. 27, 2019 at 9:42 PM CDT
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What's described as a "raft" of rock larger than Manhattan (New York) is drifting toward Australia.

On the surface, the situation may sound dire, but scientists say the floating pumice rock brings new marine life with it that could help with recovery of the Great Barrier Reef's corals.

reports from experts who say if the pumice makes it to the Great Barrier Reef, it could help replenish lost marine life as about half of the reef's corals have been killed in recent years. Scientists say this is due to climate change.

CNN reports sailors first spotted the massing floating sheet of volcanic rock on Aug. 9. This came days after it's believed an underwater volcano erupted near the Pacific Island of Tonga.

The pumice, filled with holes and cavities, floats like an iceberg, a sailor who observed the phenomenon explains. It's expected to drift with the current to the Australian coast over the next seven to 10 months, sailors explain to CNN. There, scientists believe it could have a positive affect on microorganisms, helping to restore the coral population on the Great Barrier Reef.