Fun facts about the Great Barrier Reef
- THE Great Barrier Reef, the Earth’s biggest coral reef ecosystem is located in the Coral Sea, off the north-eastern coast of Australia, straddling over 2,300km of coastline from the Torres Strait to Bundaberg, in the state of Queensland.
- The single largest structure in the world, it’s made of coral colonies built by billions of tiny living organisms, known as coral polyps. It’s essentially a mass of limestone, made from the skeletons of millions of marine animals and plants.
- The most common types of reefs found here are the Ribbon, Platform and Fringing reefs. The reef is composed of a staggering 2,900 individual coral reefs and 900 islands. That’s bigger than Italy.
- The largest protected marine area in the world, the reef is home to unimaginable numbers of marine wildlife and supports 400 types of coral, more than 1,500 species of fish, 3,000 species of mollusks, 30 species of whales, porpoises and dolphins, 500 species of seaweed, 14 species of sea snakes, 6 species of sea turtles, 215 species of birds and large populations of dugongs.
- It’s also a safe haven to the endangered loggerhead and green sea turtles, and a breeding ground for humpback whales.
- The Great Barrier Reef is bigger than the Great Wall of China and can be seen from outer space.