Twelve Apostles may become 17

VICTORIA'S iconic Twelve Apostles may have to rethink its name after the discovery of five extra limestone columns hidden deep beneath the ocean.

The sea stacks, thought to be up to 60,000 years old, were discovered during sonar mapping of Victoria's southern coast.

Located six kilometres offshore from the Great Ocean Road and 50 metres beneath the water's surface, scientists have dubbed the world-first discovery the Drowned Apostles.

Associate Professor David Kennedy from the University of Melbourne's School of Geography said it was the first time limestone stacks had been found preserved in the ocean.

"From a scientific perspective, how do they even exist?" he said.

ABC



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