All posts tagged: Hakai Magazine.Arah Narida

These Corals Survived a Deep Freeze

These Corals Survived a Deep Freeze

[ad_1] This article was originally published by Hakai Magazine. Arah Narida leans over a microscope to gaze into a plastic petri dish containing a hood coral. The animal—a pebbled blue-white disk roughly half the size of a pencil eraser—is a marvel. Just three weeks ago, the coral was smaller than a grain of rice. It was also frozen solid. That is, until Narida, a graduate student at National Sun Yat-sen University, in Taiwan, thawed it with the zap of a laser. Now, just beneath the coral’s tentacles, she spies a slight divot in the skeleton where a second coral is beginning to bud. That small cavity is evidence that her hood coral is reaching adulthood, a feat no other scientist has ever managed with a previously frozen larva. Narida smiles and snaps a picture. “It’s like if you see Captain America buried in snow and, after so many years, he’s alive,” she says. “It’s so cool!” For nearly two decades, scientists have been cryopreserving corals—freezing them at temperatures as low as –196 degrees Celsius for …