Explore The Great Barrier Reef
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, as well as a UNESCO world heritage site. It makes up about “ten per cent of the world’s coral reef ecosystems.”
- With 3000 separate reefs and over 900 continental islands and coral cays, the Great Barrier Reef offers some of the most beautiful and exciting spots for snorkeling, swimming, and diving. It is also the most extensive and diverse underwater ecosystem in the world.
- What is a “coral cay”? It’s a tiny island on a coral reef.
- The marine life is truly something to behold (and many species are threatened with extinction). There are thousands of species of fish, mollusk, and hundreds of species of tropical birds and coral, along with anemones, sponges, and crustaceans (such as crabs, shrimps, and barnacles).
Why it’s so important: Discover with Spartan and the Green Egg
“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”
“The Great Barrier Reef is considered the largest living thing on earth, as well as the largest coral reef system. It’s even possible to see the reef from outer space. It stretches over fourteen hundred miles and is home to many types of aquatic species. It is located in the Coral Sea, right off the coast of Queensland, Australia.” Collect your Spartan and the Green Egg Great Barrier Reef explorer pin today!
- The complex maze of coral reefs provides homes for all sorts of marine creatures that have been around since pre-historic times. Without these reefs, these incredible animals would die.
- There are other marine habitats to be found in The Great Barrier Reef other than just complex and colorful coral systems. There are “seagrass, mangroves, sand, algal and sponge gardens, and inter-reefal communities.”
- There are also “deep oceanic areas more than 250km offshore.”
- The Great Barrier Reef contains “the world’s largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish, and 4,000 types of mollusks.”
- One of the largest continental islands of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is over 1,000 meters above sea level.
- The ecosystem of the GBR covers almost 350,000 square kilometers.
There is an astonishing amount of flora, fauna (including the manatee, also known as the “dugong” or “sea cow” and the large green turtle), and islands with sun-drenched sandy beaches. Some of the sea turtles and clams are over one hundred and twenty years old! There are a myriad of exciting exploratory activities on these islands, including:
- Snorkeling: Imagine the amazing wilderness beneath the sea, complete with colorful fish of all shapes and sizes and fantastic coral reef systems.
- Scuba diving
- With its kaleidoscopic beauty of colors that only nature can provide, helicopter tours above the GBR are very popular.
- Tours on glass-bottomed boats
- Whale watching
- Swimming with dolphins!
Save the Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is in danger. Because of global warming, many of the coral reef systems have been compromised and bleached, while pollution is a threat to all sorts of marine life. Much of the reef has deteriorated, so conservation efforts are extremely important. To learn more about threats to the GBR and what you can do, check out this website.
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For more information on the Great Barrier Reef, consult the links below: