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bleached coral

When corals bleach

Coral’s colors come from symbiotic algae cells living inside individual corals, or polyps. This  “bleached” coral has expelled much of its algae in response to the stress of unusually warm water, and the white skeleton shows through the transparent polyps. If high temperatures are short-lived, the coral will recover fully. A collaborative partnership with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia is giving WHOI researchers access to pristine coral reefs in the Red Sea, where they are studying the reef ecosystem. (Photo by Jessie Kneeland, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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