Coral Gardens

An expedition to an undersea mountain reveals large corals, brilliant sponges, and other strange sea creatures.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM February 21, 2006

On their first visit to Davidson Seamount in 2002, scientists realized that they had discovered a very unusual place. What was once an underwater volcano has become home to an unexpectedly diverse community of enormous and colorful sea creatures.

In this beautiful environment, bright-pink corals tower more than 10 feet tall. Delicate, lacy sponges mingle with brilliant, lemon-yellow sponges the size of boulders. There are shrimp, crabs, sea anemones that look like Venus flytraps, as well as...

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