Great Barrier Reef Facts

Below are some of the facts about the Great Barrier Reef:

  • The Great Barrier Reef is the largest continued life form and ecosystem on Earth, It is visible from the outer space because of its enormous size.
  • The ecosystem gets almost 2 million visitors every year to see the enormous arrangement of hard and soft coral, colorful fishes, and interesting marine life forms.
  • The Australian government earns revenue of 5 to 6 million AUD every year only from the tourism coming to the Reef.
  • There are more than 2,900 individual reefs formulating the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Corals in the reef have formed such conjugated formation that island like formations have taken place there.
  • The reef contains 900 islands and spread across 2600 km.
  • The area of the reef is more than the combined area of Tasmania and Victoria. Also the area of the reef is equivalent to the individual areas of the countries of Japan, Italy, Malaysia, and Germany, and almost half the area of Texas.
  • The reef contains 30 species of Porpoises, Whales, and Dolphins.
  • Altogether 215 bird species including 22 seabird species and 32 shorebird species come to the reef to stay and breed.
  • The reef is house to over 1,500 species of fishes.
  • 10% of the total fishes in the world are found concentrated at the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Living corals growing over dead corals which dates back to almost 20 million years indicates the age of the Great Barrier Reef to be almost that old or older. Thus it is one of the most ancient life forms on earth.
  • The Reef can get damaged due to sharp temperature changes. Warmer currents in the ocean can result in loss of colors of the corals. Such things actually happened twice at the reef in 1998 and 2002, the latter being more serious affecting almost half of the reef’s corals.
  • Poorly organized tourism, and the leaching of harmful chemicals and pesticides and fertilizers from rivers coming to this part of the sea water are big threats to the reef.
  • The reef was formed 25 million years ago during the Miocene Epoch Eastern Australian coast.
  • At present 93% of the reef is estimated to have undergone serious coral bleaching.
  • The Great Barrier Reef as per the CNN is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.
  • The natural human inhabitants who are natives to the area around the reef are Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal Australians. They have been living in the area for more than 10,000 years.