Popular Science

Corals grow in patterns, even if we can’t always see them

There’s a method to the reef madness.

coral reef

Corals at Palmyra Atoll in the central Pacific.

The colorful riot of a might seem chaotic, but new research indicates that it’s actually far from random. Scientists have created 3D maps of 17,000 square feet of reefs and discovered that corals grow in patterns. Some species huddle close together, while others are less densely packed. These clusters

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Popular Science

Popular Science3 min readTech
How Mercedes-AMG’s Formula One Hybrid Tech Trickles Down To Road Cars
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport scored its first victory of the Formula One hybrid-electric era at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, with driver Lewis Hamilton. That early system relied on discrete battery pack and power electronics modules that sent e
Popular Science4 min readScience
Dwarf Star Planets Could Glow With Life
Though our cosmic backyard brims with planets, few seem fit for life as we know it. Some do orbit at just the right distance for water to stay liquid, but their hothead young stars tend to douse them with radiation that would quickly snuff out most E
Popular Science4 min readScience
This Newly Discovered Leech Lurked In Plain Sight For Decades
Recoil or rejoice: Scientists discovered a new medicinal leech in North America. The about three-inch-long species, Macrobdella mimicus, had lurked in freshwater bodies and natural history collections for decades—until scientists gave it a closer exa