A Colombian coral reef off Cartagena is offering a ray of hope to other reefs around the world.

The reef that lies next to a shipping lane on a busy port should not even exist, and was found by accident since it was assumed that, like 90% of the other reefs in the area, it was dead!

According to the BBC, the reef has astounded scientists by thriving, and is home to healthy populations of fish, sea urchins and corals. Unfortunately, scientists may lose the opportunity to study this coral miracle, since a sizable portion of it is due to be destroyed.

The Port of Cartagena is growing rapidly, and plans are in place to dredge an area of the reef to create greater access for ships. Sadly this will destroy about a quarter of the reef, and may deny scientists the chance to study the reef and understand the secret to its success.

The reef is currently a hostage to fate, and while local campaigners have launched a campaign to save the reef, it may be a casualty of the government of Colombia’s economic development ambitions.