The Great Barrier Reef is considered as a very special place and an important part of the world’s ecosystem. What made it so special is that it is not a single continuous reef; rather it is made up of more 2900 reefs plus about 900 islands. It is also the largest marine park and reef structure in the world. The following are some of the most commonly known Great Barrier Reef facts.
Great Barrier Reef Interesting Facts
1. The length of the Great Barrier Reef expands from somewhere near the territory of Papua New Guinea (on the north side) to the Queensland coast (on the south side) to Bundaberg in the north of Brisbane. It measures 2300 kilometers long, 240 kilometers wide in the south side and 24 kilometers wide in the north side. It is indeed one of the many great barrier reef facts that its size is comparable to 70,000,000 football fields or 35 million hectares of land.
2. Another fascinating among the many great barrier reef interesting facts is that it started to grow some 18 million years ago. From that time, different geological events, like Ice Age and low levels of seawater have interrupted the reef growth. What can be seen today are reefs grown on top of the older reef platforms from the past 8000 years.
3. One of the most well-known great barrier reef facts is that it has some of the world’s highest marine life diversity, which including: 1500 fish species, 450 type of corals, 4000 types of mollusks, 133 varieties of sharks and rays, and over 30 species of dolphins and whales.
4. Additionally, there are also more various species of plants and animals in a cubic meter of the reef than in any other environment on Earth – including the tropical rainforests. As a matter of fact, some reefs have more different species of fish types than in the entire planet.
5. As the planet’s largest living structure, the Great Barrier Reef is extremely rich and diverse. This natural structure is so large that it can be seen from outer space. As a matter of fact, it is so large that it can be seen from the moon. According to the astronauts who have seen it from space, it is a white thin line that is visible off Australia’s east coast.
6. While the Great Barrier Reef is commonly known for its large network of colorful reefs, it has an intricate architecture that provides home for an enormous number of animals and plants.
7. Some of the animals that call the reef home include crocodiles and turtles that have been in existence since the prehistoric era and little have changed over the millennia.
8. It is also one of great barrier reef facts that it is also exceptional because it extends more than 14 degrees of latitude, from its shallow estuarine areas to the deep oceanic waters.
9. The Great Barrier Reef also has a standard depth of 35 metros in the inshore waters, while continental slopes expand down to the depth of over 2000 meters on the outer reefs.
10. It also extends into airspace above and into earth underneath the seabed.
11. While initially, the coral reefs the Great Barrier Reef celebrated, they comprise only about seven percent of the World Heritage Area and the Marine Park.
12. The rest of this Marine Park is an astonishing assortment of marine habitats, ranging from shallow inshore areas like mangroves, sea grass, algal gardens, sponge gardens, sand – to deep oceanic locations more than 250 kilometers offshore.
13. The entire area of the Great Barrier Reef is divided into zones, with each zone having different rules that outline the allowed activities and the ones that are prohibited. This was considered to be the better option than to have a single managing authority. After all, this Marine Park surely covers a very extensive area.
Great Barrier Reef Facts for Kids
Check out these great barrier reef facts for kids and let your children learn more about this natural structure also known as a Marine Park.
14. This Marine Park is known as the world’s largest coral reef system.
15. The Great Barrier Reef is located in the Coral Sea, exactly at the off the coast of Queensland, in Australia.
16. It is considered as the largest living structure on Earth.
17. This Marine Park is composed of about 2900 individual reefs and around 900 islands.
18. It measures is about 2600 kilometers long.
19. It can be seen from the moon, according to Astronauts.
20. Corals play a significant part in the formation of this Marine Park.
21. Coral generate calcium carbonate needed in forming the hard, shell-like skeleton.
22. This Marine Park is home to a great diversity of marine life, including fish, sea snakes, sea turtles, seahorse, giant clam, nudibranch, sharks, sea turtles, stingray, and many more.
23. There are more than 1500 different fish species living in the Great Barrier Reef – like the clownfish.
24. The biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef is climate change.
25. Coral bleaching is one of the common problems in the Great Barrier Reef and it is caused by warmer ocean temperatures that put stress on the coral.
26.The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Australia and it is visited by more than 2 million people every year.
The Great Barrier Reef is indeed a fascinating natural structure and it is also the largest living one. Many people have always been enthralled by this wonderful Australian attraction, enough so that they come here over and over again just to see this magical creation of nature and time.
There are indeed several great barrier reef facts and the ones mentioned above are just a few of them. It would be great to know more about this Marine park, and what better way to accomplish such education than to be there personally and het up close and personal with all those lovely sea creatures.
Author: Tajirul Haque
Tajirul Haque is a travel enthusiast and freelance travel writer on Upwork. Having written hundreds of travel articles on so many travel destinations around the world for his clients, Tajirul started Top Travel Lists back in September 2014. Travel writing is his passion and he always loves to write about a new destination as it allows him to know about more beautiful places the planet has to offer. He is always available for freelance travel writing opportunities.