By Andrea Romano
April 25, 2019
Travel Wild/Getty Images

It’s common knowledge that coral reefs across the globe are in extreme danger. In fact, more than 70 percent of Japan’s largest coral reef has already died, and several Thai islands have been closed as a protective measure to preserve their reefs.

But now, scientists may have found a unique solution to help solve the coral reef problem, at least in Thailand. And it involves an item you might have in your kitchen junk drawer.

According to The Telegraph, ecologists have come up with a way to regrow dead coral by attaching dead parts of the reef to rocks below the water using superglue. Yes, superglue. Though it’s strange to think the same item you’d use to fix a broken vase can also be used on a (formerly) living sea creature, it’s actually working.

Apparently, it only takes about a week for the coral to grow and grip the terrain beneath it. Then, the super glue dissolves away and the reef is practically as good as new. Scientists have been trying this experiment out in Maya Bay in particular, which was the beach made famous by the 2000 movie "The Beach," starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

The success of the film naturally led to over tourism, which consequently led to the destruction of the coral surrounding the cove. Maya Bay has been closed indefinitely since last October.

Swedish photographer Magnus Larsson, who managed to photograph the regrowth process, told The Telegraph, “[The coral is] the base in the coral reef ecosystem and so if they disappear, everything else goes with it.”

According to The Metro, Larsson expects the rehabilitation of Maya Bay to take at least four years. In the meantime, Thailand has plenty of other beautiful beaches to visit where you won’t be damaging the reef below the water.

In theory, this method of restoring the reef could possibly be used in other parts of the world, though it is unclear whether this will address issues of coral bleaching or changes in the sediment.

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