8 Incredible Facts About the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's biggest living structure! It's even visible from outer space and stretches for over 2,300 kilometers (1,400 mi) along the coast of Queensland, Australia.

The Largest Living Structure on Earth:

The Great Barrier Reef is a biodiversity hotspot. It provides habitat for over 1,500 species of fish, 411 types of hard coral, 134 species of sharks and rays, and six of the world's seven species of marine turtles.

Home to Unbelievable Diversity:

The Great Barrier Reef is the work of tiny living marine organisms called coral polyps. These polyps  deposit calcium carbonate to form a hard exoskeleton that supports and protects their soft bodies.

Created by tiny organisms:

The Great Barrier Reef is estimated to be between 18 and 25 million years old, making it much older than the Amazon rainforest!

Older than the rainforests:

The Great Barrier Reef protects the coast of Queensland from damaging cyclones and erosion. The reef absorbs the energy of waves, reducing their power before they reach the shore.

Provides a natural breakwater:

The Great Barrier Reef is a major tourist destination and is estimated to generate billions of dollars in tourism revenue each year. The reef also supports commercial fishing and provides jobs for thousands of people.

Economic importance:

The Great Barrier Reef is  threatened by climate change, rising water temperatures, and ocean acidification. These factors can cause coral bleaching and death.

Vulnerable to climate change:

There are many efforts underway to protect the Great Barrier Reef. These include reducing pollution, managing fishing activities, and raising awareness about the importance of the reef.

Conservation efforts: