The Great Barrier Reef surely remains to be one of the most mesmerizing wonders of the world! Located off the coast of Queensland in the Northeastern area of Australia, this beautiful structure mainly constitutes tiny living organisms. It is home to a variety of interesting species and one would be amazed with the kind of world that exists beneath the sea.
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest reef structure that attracts tourists all the year round because of the natural beauty of this place. Well, there are definitely many reasons why it pulls large crowds. Many people touring Australia make it a point to visit this place as a trip “Down Under” would be deemed incomplete without going there.
What adds to its ambiance is the serenity and the charm–making people enjoy Mother nature at her very best. Read on to know many such interesting facts and get an in-depth view about the splendors of this beautiful structure.
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef, which is made up of approximately 900 islands and 3000 coral reefs! It stretches out over 344,400 square kilometers.
One of the most interesting facts about the Great Barrier Reef is that this structure can actually be seen from outer space!
Experts opine that it was formed around 18 million years ago. Due to various climatic and environmental changes, the reefs, which we see today, are those that have grown over the earlier reefs since the last Ice Age. It has over 2, 900 individual reefs.
Although Great Barrier Reef attracts tourists from all over and equipment for scuba diving can be rented from various places out here, taking home a piece of the coral reef is a punishable act. This is mainly to protect the reef from being damaged by these acts. More than a million tourists visit the reef every year.
Great Barrier Reef is home to a wide diversity of life. Studies have revealed an amazing number of species out here; some fall under the endangered bracket.
Amongst the species that are seen out here, one can notice around 30 species of whales, 215 species of beautiful birds, 6 species of sea turtles, 125 species of sharks and stingrays, 49 species of pipefish, 17 species of sea snakes and around 1,500 types of fish!
When compared to any other location around the globe, an amazing fact is that every cubic meter has many different species of animals and plants! This itself explains the wide diversity of life!
One of the oldest species of fish that can be found at the Great Barrier Reef is the Red Bass. This fish can live for more than 50 years as compared to other species.
Some of the largest of giant clams can be found out here. One of the largest pearl was found in such clams and was reportedly sold in New York for a whopping $10 million!
Did you know that significant populations of Dugongs inhabit the Great Barrier Reef? Dugongs are classified as marine mammals and are closely related to elephants.
The catchment area of the Great Barrier Reef receives 380 cubic km of rain on an average every year.
In the year 1981, the Great Barrier Reef was selected as a World Heritage Site.
The Great Barrier Marine Park protects a major portion of this reef. This is mainly to prevent the misuse of this beautiful place due to over-fishing and impacts caused by the tourism industry.
Tourists who plan to visit the Great Barrier Reef and wish to explore the area by boat should make it a point to do so in advance. This is because there are only limited trips allowed into the water.
These interesting facts are just a glimpse of some of the amazing things seen at this reef. One would probably have to see it in person to know all about the natural splendors of this magnificent structure.