Coral reefs are globally admired works of undersea majesty! They’re beautiful and so important to the ocean environment.
We love to share awesome ocean facts, some you may know already and some you may not.
Let’s dig into the fascinating life of coral reefs with these fifteen facts!
- In the Florida Keys, there are at least 45 species of stony coral, 37 species of octocoral, five species of sea turtles, 500 species of fish, about 1,700 species of mollusks and hundreds of species of sponges.
- Coral reefs aren’t just wildlife habitats. They also protect coastlines from storms.
- Coral is related to jellyfish and anemones. Remember Nemo’s crib?
- Each individual coral is known as a polyp.
- Polyps extend their tentacles at night to sting and ingest plankton.
- There are thousands of polyps in each coral colony.
- Over time, the colonies release a calcium carbonate exoskeleton that forms the structure of coral reefs.
- Coral reefs are found in tropical and subtropical waters, living less than 150 feet from the surface.
- Only about one percent of the world’s oceans contain coral reefs. That’s about the size of France.
- Obviously, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the largest in the world. It contains more than 2,900 individual reefs.
- More than two million people visit the Great Barrier Reef – one of the seven natural wonders of the world – each year.
- The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space.
- The Great Barrier Reef is close to half the size of Texas.
- Some anti-cancer drugs and painkillers come from reefs.
- Ocean acidification has threatened the future of reefs worldwide.
Want more ocean facts? First, watch the video above, and then check out nationalgeographic.com.