A fragment of a Israeli coral. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit) AP Photo/Ariel Schali
A fragment of a Israeli coral. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

An industrial pipeline in Israeli waters for shipping Iranian oil to Europe has served as the unlikely home of exotic coral and other aquatic life for the past 50 years.

Eilat remains a popular destination for tourists from around the globe due to its stunning beaches and amazing scuba diving, the latter of which offers some of the best views of coral reef in the world.

One beach in Eilat, however, remained off limits to bathers and divers alike for around 50 years, due to its use by the Eilat-Ashkelon company as the starting point of a Mediterranean pipeline to transport oil from Iran to Europe, bypassing the Suez canal.

While the pipeline sat largely unused by humans due to the Islamic revolution in Iran, which severed ties with Israel and sought the Jewish state’s destruction, the infrastructure was soon put to a different use by nature, with hundreds of colonies of coral taking up residence there, in addition to the aquatic life that make such environments home.

With an Israeli initiative to clean up waste associated with the old pipeline underway, efforts to preserve this underwater paradise are in full swing.






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