a turtle int he water

What is a coral reef? Interesting facts

Coral reefs are a real paradise for scuba divers, where you can meet underwater inhabitants of the most bizarre shapes and colors. But corals play a much more important role in nature than just a decoration of seas.

Corals are not just limestone structures that have arisen with help of coral polyps. It is an amazing creation of nature and an incredible form of life.

Coral reefs attract with its amazing natural beauty, a variety of shapes and a number of colors and shades, which reaches 400. They do not appear anywhere: the coral reef needs a warm climate. The more there are sunny days in the year, the better it develops. Perhaps, the main thing is the fauna of the most fabulous shapes and colors, which creates a coherent picture of the indescribable beauty of coral reefs.

agirl with a star under water

The best places to see coral reefs

The Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea (Australia). Its area is almost 345 000 km² and this miracle of nature is visible even from outer space. This water oasis is considered the largest ecosystem of the planet. Here are over 400 varieties of corals and over one and a half thousand species of inhabitants, including whales and sharks, octopus and squid, parrot fish and butterfly fish, crustaceans, turtles, etc. This is a fairly visited place by divers. You can dive here with any level of preparation. If you want, you can do without even an aqualung: it is possible to observe the beauty of this place even if you dive with a mask and a tube.

fishes in The Great Barrier Reef

Belize Barrier Reef in the Atlantic Ocean (Belize). Its length is 280 km and you can see here unimaginable variety of living organisms. And the most interesting is that, according to scientists, the reef has been studied for only 10-15%. Therefore, among 140,000 divers, who annually visit this place, there are many people who wish to become pioneers. The highlight of this beautiful place is the so-called “Great Blue Hole”. It is a circle of blue-black color, which seems bottomless. Almost the only inhabitants of the hole (which in fact is a cave) are sharks. They can be discerned even from the surface. The sight is very impressive!

Belize Barrier Reef in the Atlantic Ocean

Apo Reef in the South China Sea (Philippines). It occupies 34 km² and is a house for several different ecosystems. The title of one of the most beautiful coral reefs of the planet is largely due to water with unique transparency. The visibility can exceed 50 meters. And there is something to see: several species of sharks and rays, huge tunas, lobsters, gorgonians and a lot of sea snakes.

Coral reefs of the Andaman Sea (India). 111 species of corals, previously unknown to science, have been discovered here. The most beautiful area is in the territory of the National Marine Park named after Mahatma Gandhi. Here you can admire stingrays, dolphins, turtles, as well as flocks of colorful fish swimming quietly around enthusiastic divers.

diver above Coral reefs of the Andaman Sea

Raja-Ampat in the Indian Ocean (Indonesia). You can meet the largest variety of marine life. No wonder this place is called World Richest Reefs. There are over 1200 species of reef fish (25 of which are endemic). The variety of corals is so great that it is 10 times larger than all the species in the Caribbean! What is more, there are a hundred sunken ships and aircraft. These all facts make it to be a great place for diving in the coral reefs.

Raja-Ampat in the Indian Ocean

Tubbataha in the Sulu Sea (Philippines). It is a whole national park. It is about 15 million years old, so it occupies an honorable place among the most amazing and ancient coral reefs over the world. There are nearly 400 species of corals about 1000 species of marine animals, including dolphins, sharks and whales. Keep in mind that the timetable of local tourist ships for diving is scheduled for a year ahead.

Tubbataha in the Sulu Sea

Palancar Reef in the Caribbean (Mexico). The reef stretching for 5 km is remarkable for its structure: there are many underwater caves and crevices where you can see quite rare black corals, and at the same time get acquainted with a variety of marine animals. Moreover, you can meet a giant barracuda, moray eels, spotted eagle rays, lobsters, crabs and a lot of bright tropical fishes.

Palancar Reef in the Caribbean

Roatan Island in the Caribbean (Honduras). Here is the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Coral reefs diving began to develop here relatively recently, about 10 years ago. And a human has not yet made his detrimental influence on this beautiful underwater corner of the planet. Therefore, if you want to admire fishes in the environment of pristine beauty – let’s hurry!

Roatan Island in the Caribbean

Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean (Seychelles). It occupies 200 km² and is famous for its pristine nature. It was a pirate island and was well hidden for a long time. Nowadays the beauty of this amazing coral reef is protected by the local government and UNESCO. The Atoll is also notable for the huge population of turtles reaching 150,000.

Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean

Coral reefs in the Red Sea (Egypt). Coral reefs of the Red Sea cannot be called the most beautiful in the world, but they have very rare and interesting shades of some colors, such as yellow, red and pink. Located near the shore, corals attract snorkeling and diving lovers from many countries.

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