Found in Queensland, Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on Earth. Full of diversity, colors, coral, and fish, this ginormous Reef is a popular destination and a World Wonder. Listed below are some interesting facts you may not know about the world’s largest Reef. Check out the list to learn information on its species, size, history, and more.

Fun Facts on the Great Barrier Reef:

  1. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world: Existing in Australia, the reef comprises over 3000 individual reef systems and 900 islands. It is known for its abundance of marine life.  The reef is larger than the great wall of China and is the only living thing visible from outer space. Some other comparisons to the Reef’s size is that it is the size of 70 million football fields, or half the size of Texas. It is slightly smaller than the Baltic Sea and around the same size as Italy, Japan, or Germany.
  2. Climate Change is the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef: Coral Reefs are generally vulnerable to climate change due to their complex structures, making rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification a worry to them. Climate change may cause severe weather events. Rising sea temperatures, and rising sea levels. All of these are major threats to the existence of the reef.
  3. The Great Barrier Reef is a popular tourist destination: The reef gets around 2 million visitors each year. It offers snorkeling tours, sailing cruises, Island Day trips, and other fun escapades. It is known as one of the best places for scuba diving and snorkeling. It also won an award from National Geographic for the best tours. Due to the Reefs incredible beauty, its natural wonder, its vastness, and the adventures that it has to offer, The Great Barrier has been a commonly known vacation spot for a while. Tourism to the reef generates approximately AU$5-6 billion per year.
  4. There are 600 types of hard and soft coral inhabiting the Reef: Hard Corals, typically found in clear and tropical waters, are also known as stony corals. The most common Hard Coral found in the Great Barrier Reef is the Staghorn Variety. Soft Corals, which are more visually striking than hard corals, have eight tentacles as opposed to six. Soft Corals serve as home to food sources, or Marine Algae, in the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef structures will begin to crumble if Reef growth does not keep pace due to these limits. Climate change can also impact species and habitats within the Reef. Action plans and Adaptation strategies are being considered to ensure protection of the Reef in the year 2017.
  5. The Great Barrier Reef is 20,000,000 years old: It was founded by Europeans who came into contact with the coasts of Australia. It was believed to be first sighted around 1522 by Portuguese explorers.
  6. Some of the Reef’s turtles and crocodiles have been around since prehistoric times: Six species of Sea Turtles can be found in the Great Barrier Reef-the green sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle, hawksbill turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, flatback turtle, and the olive ridley Some of these species date back to prehistoric times due to the Reef’s old age. Crocodiles, found in the Reef’s Mangroves and Marshes also date back to that time.
  7. The Reef contains a park within it (The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park): The park is responsible for making sure the Great Barrier Reef is protected in the future. The park uses the best scientific management from Marine Managers, researchers, and experts to ensure the Park’s protection. These scientists focus on issues that may harm the Reef, such as Climate Change, Poor water quality, impacts from coastal development, and illegal fishing. The park also offers a variety of tourist experiences, such as helicopter tours, cruise ships, Day tours, Bareboats, water sports, fishing carters, and more.
  8. Over 1500 different species of fish live in the Great Barrier Reef: Fish in the Great Barrier Reef range from small bait fish to some of the largest varieties of sharks on Earth. Some species of fish found in the Reef include Angelfish, Cardinal Fish, Clown Fish, Damselfish, Gobies, Groupers, Parrot Fish, Sharks, Triggerfish, Trout, and Wrasse.

 

Crowded with tourism, bursting with colorful fish, and home to beautiful corals, The Great Barrier Reef is a wonder that has been talked about largely for years. Due to its old age, many people are familiar with the Reef. With a Marine Park that offers adventurous escapades, people of all ages are prone to traveling to the Great Barrier Reef. Its ancient marine animals, corals, structures and plants contribute to its old era beauty. Next time you decide to take a trip to the Reef, don’t forget to consider these fun facts. They may be a useful tool for your exploring and sight-seeing.