Under the choppy surface of the northern Red Sea, colourful corals grow in the tranquil azure waters on long parallel metal tables fastened to the seabed, dozens of feet deep. These striking plant-like animals in the Gulf of Eilat, or Aqaba, have proven to be surprisingly adaptable to global warming, but human-made pollution can compromise their heat resilience.
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Egypt’s rebounding tourism and plastics threaten Red Sea corals. Videographic on the challenges posed by plastics. VIDEOGRAPHICS
In dazzling turquoise waters off Egypt’s Red Sea coast, scuba divers swim among delicate red jellyfish and admire outcrops of coral — but Egypt’s rebounding tourism sector is not good news for the fragile marine ecosystem.
Fishermen at a harbour in the battle-scarred Red Sea city of Hodeida struggle to survive as they are forced to fish close to the shore due to the danger of being shot or intercepted at sea, thus limiting their daily catch. Hodeida, home to Yemen’s most vital port, has been the target of a fierce pro-government offensive to reseize it from Huthi rebels who have held it since 2014.
Mohammed and Salama Rashed explain their difficult living conditions in Yemen’s rebel-held capital Sanaa, where they found shelter after fleeing the Red Sea port city of Hodeida with their children following fierce clashes and bombings. They fear their dire conditions will worsen with winter, as their makeshift tent barely protects them from the cold and rain.
Residents in Hodeida call for the war to end after nearly four years of conflict in Yemen, home to what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe. Clashes halted near the rebel-held port of Hodeida, following intense conflict between government loyalists supported by a Saudi-led coalition, and the Iran-backed Huthi rebels from the Red Sea city, whose docks are a lifeline to 14 million Yemenis at risk of starvation.
Noor Daoud was the only woman to take to the track in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where the Palestinian racer impressed the crowds with her “drift” driving skills.
Yemeni pro-government forces close in on a rebel-held airport as they press a sweeping offensive on a key Red Sea port city, sparking UN fears for vital aid shipments.
Saudi Arabia’s second ever Comic-Con event, the first one to take place in the capital Riyadh, opened this week, attracting geeks and sci-fi, fantasy, anime, and pop culture aficionados and featuring guests like American actor Jason Momoa. The kingdom in recent months has organised concerts, its first Comic-Con festival in the Red Sea city of Jeddah (in February) and a mixed-gender national day celebration.
In the azure waters of the Red Sea, Maoz Fine and his team dive to study what may be the planet’s most unique coral: one that can survive global warming, at least for now.