Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living structure, is dying 11/14/2016 • Kesaru Aosoki
Barrier Reef is a 1,400 miles long living structure visible even from space. Now, at the age of 25 million years, the Reef is bleaching, which can lead to its death very soon. Let's find out more about one of the most incredible creations of nature and the ways to save it.
#1 What species live in and around the Reef?
The Reef harbors more than 1,600 fish species, 3,000 species of mollusk, 220 species of birds, 30 species of whales and dolphins, and, of course, corals - 450 species. Green turtles are one of the best known inhabitants of the Reef.
#2 When did it become famous?
James Cook became the first European to navigate the maze of the Reef. His ship got stuck in it and Cook managed to escape only several months later. That's why Cook didn't love the Reef but, anyway, he made it famous and loved by people from all over the globe.
#3 How big is it?
The Reef is the size of 70 million football fields! It is the only living structure on our planet visible from space.
#4 What is it made up from?
Around 3 thousand single reef formations compose the Great Reef. They vary in size and form. The largest ones cover the area of about 100,000 hectares!
#5 How many people visit it annually?
At least 1 million people come to experience the Reef every year! This way, the Reef provides a lot of jobs in tourism for the people of Australia and contributes about $6 Billion to the economy of the country.
#6 Why is it dying?
The Reef experienced its first mass-bleaching incident in 1981. It happened because of the climate change. The temperature of the water rose, and the algae, which feeds the corals with sugars, started producing too much oxygen. In high concentrations, the oxygen is harmful to the corals. The corals ejected the algae to survive and lost their color. But the worst thing is that they began to starve.
#7 Can it be saved?
Today more than 90% of the Reef is affected by bleaching. People have also contributed to its destruction by fishing, burning fossil fuels and mining. So, saving the Reef requires everyone's participation. Of course, science should be at the basis of all action. Actually, much good work has already been done by scientists, governments and charities. The Reef can definitely be saved so future generations can enjoy its incredible beauty.
Have you ever been to Australia? What do you think about this problem? Tell us in the comments below!
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