Help me understand the potential name change

    Where did the Falkor Reef name suggestion come from?

    The suggestion to name the newly discovered reef, Falkor reef, originated from a partnership project between James Cook University (JCU) in consultation with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and the Australian Hydrographic Office (AHO) in recognition of the research vessel involved.

    How was the reef discovered?

    The unnamed reef was found as a team of scientists led by Dr. Robin Beaman from James Cook University was conducting underwater mapping of the northern Great Barrier Reef seafloor. A live dive was then broadcast on 26 October 2020 using Schmidt Ocean Institute’s underwater robot SuBastian on Schmidt Ocean Institute’s website and YouTube channel.

    Why was the name chosen?

    The name Falkor honours the Research Vessel Falkor, which conducted the first systematic seafloor mapping and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) survey of the offshore Cape York Peninsular area and that led to the discovery of this significant detached reef feature.

    The vessel was named after the fictitious good-luck dragon from the book The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. In the original story, published in German, the dragon is named Fuchur. There is conjecture that Fuchur is a derivation of the Japanese term Fuku Ryū, meaning good dragon. The publisher supposedly modified the name to Falkor for the English version of the book to avoid confusion with an English swear word.  

    Why is there a proposal to name the reef?

    Providing a newly identified submerged reef with a distinctive name will facilitate national and international recognition of its uniqueness and significant environmental values. This name honours the Research Vessel Falkor whose technology enabled the discovery of the reef.

    Is there an existing Indigenous name?

    Traditional Owners, the Kuuku Ya’u people, have confirmed they have no existing name for the reef or area of waters in which it is located.

    What engagement has been undertaken so far?

    Consultation with Traditional Owners determined that there is no traditional indigenous name for the feature; and that they support the proposed name.

    Where is the reef located?

    The reef is an undersea feature that is approximately 500m tall, 300m long, 50m wide and 40m below water. It lies 70km northeast of Lockhart River and 2.6km north-northeast of Northern Small Detached Reef. View a map showing the feature’s location here.

    It is located within the GBRMP on the outer edge of the reef, just within Queensland waters. The current zoning of this portion of GBRMP is Habitat Protection Zone.

    How are places named?

    Consistent and accurate place names are the basis of a number of vital activities, including map production, communication services, population censuses and statistics, and emergency services.

    Because of this, Queensland follows strict place naming guidelines and processes. Place naming is primarily the responsibility of the Department of Resources which administers the Place Names Act 1994.

    Learn more through this step-by-step guide. (Suggesting a place name or boundary change | Environment, land and water | Queensland Government (

    Place Names are also recognise for their value in supporting culture and heritage, including that of Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islander People’s.

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