knobs of coral

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jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
In the early days of his exploration, he expected it to be gone after every big storm, and following the 1944 hurricane that sank the USS Warrington off Vero Beach, he was sure it would be. But when the skies cleared, the island was still there. So was the dune, although the hundred-mile-an-hour winds should have blown all the sand away, leaving only the bare rocks and knobs of coral.
Source: The Bazaar of bad dreams

I find the meaning of coral to be elusive. When I look up images of coral, I get the pictures of marine life like this one:


Coral in this context refers to something in the dryland so it can not be marine life.

How a nob can be a rounded hill ?

Thank you
 
  • ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    Coral, which is a colony of creatures' skeletons with new ones constantly growing, grows on rock. After the storm had swept away the sand, the coral would remain (but would soon die). A knob is a protrusion or bump (of coral in this case).
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Ah... my thought was:

    So was the dune, although the hundred-mile-an-hour winds should have blown all the sand away, leaving only the bare rocks and fairly large pieces of coral that had died and been broken off by the sea and then had been washed ashore by the tide so as to settle on the shore
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    Thank you... It started to sink. Do you say broken off by the sea or from the sea ?
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    Thank you PaulQ. I said 'It started to sink' to imply I started to understand the answer and the meaning of coral. Sometime, when faced with a new concept, I would momentarily go blank or reject the meaning as it makes no sense. However, upon reflection or someone's answer ( your answer in this case), it started to make sense and the new understanding started to sink into my thinking/cognitive mind.

    Does it make sense ? How else would you say it ?

    Thank you again.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Over thousands of years, coral forms large amounts of limestone rock. The island of Barbados is coral limestone. There are mountains made of coral in the middle of continents.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    atf, Myridon and Redwood G have persuaded me -

    In "...the island was still there. So was the dune, although the hundred-mile-an-hour winds should have blown all the sand away, leaving only the bare rocks and knobs of coral." The narrator is surprised that the all the sand from the sand had not blown away, leaving behind the rocks,. and the protrusions of ancient coral that were among the rocks, of which the island was made."

    The "knobs of coral "= protrusions of ancient coral.
     
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