Forget the Pacific, the North Sea is home to coral

Coral reefs are forming around the legs of North Sea oil rigs, boffins have found. BP’s gigantic North West Hutton platform, east of Lerwick, is home to the Lophelia pertusa.

Now the oil giant hopes its ‘green’ credentials will allow it to leave much of the 40,000 ton structure on the sea bed.

Coral is formed by tiny animals – polyps – whose skeletons fuse with the rig legs and form perpendicular reefs.