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South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries has floated a tanker-shaped vessel tagged as the world's largest "floating facility" with a length greater than the height of the Empire State Building. A Samsung spokeswoman said Thursday that the floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) platform -- named "Prelude" -- was set in the water at its southern shipyard in Geoje on November 30. But its specifications are impressive, outstripping the 443-metre tall Empire State Building in New York.
Lead author Vincent Post, from Australia's Flinders University, said that an estimated 500,000 cubic kilometres (120,000 cubic miles) of low-salinity water had been found buried beneath the seabed on continental shelves off Australia, China, North America and South Africa. The deposits were formed over hundreds of thousands of years in the past, when the sea level was much lower and areas now under the ocean were exposed to rainfall which was absorbed into the underlying water table.