Great Barrier Reef

In the warm tropical waters of the World Ocean are scattered a huge number of coral islands with their atolls, which often form reefs - dangerous for navigation of the cliff. Among them is striking in its scale Great Barrier Reef. It is a ridge of coral reefs and islets, stretching for 2300 km from the southern coast of the island New Guinea along the northeastern coasts Australia in the Coral Sea at a distance of 25-50 km from the coast of the mainland. The total area of the Great Barrier Reef is 210 thousand square km.

The Great Barrier Reef has approximately 2500 small islets of reefs and reefs

The Great Barrier Reef has approximately 2500 small islets of reefs and reefs. No one knows the exact number; because many appear above the surface of the sea only during tides. They are built with the smallest microorganisms - coral polyps, and are their calcareous skeletons.

"The Eighth Wonder of the World", as they call it The Great Barrier Reef, originated approximately 55 million years ago in a constantly changing ocean level, and each of its pieces of land, with the adjacent oceanic expanses, can be called a real paradise. After all, an extremely favorable and humid climate, lush vegetation, exotic birds, unusual colors of the ocean with its richest flora and fauna, attract many tourists here as well as seekers of the treasures of the once sunken ships. The Great Barrier Reef is like a giant breakwater, protecting the coast of the mainland from the destruction of typhoons that are frequent here. Especially prized is the so-called Big Lagoon, not more than 50 m deep, almost fenced off from the open ocean and located between the reef and the mainland.

Representing itself as a unique nature reserve of marine fauna, created by nature, the Great Barrier Reef plays the same role as the humid tropical forests on land. After all, in the sun-warmed shoal, like anywhere else, there are over 1500 species of fish, giant green turtles, dolphins, whales and other living creatures. Here lives more than 3 million seabirds - gulls, petrels, ducks, gannets.

It should be noted and the problems of the Great Barrier Reef caused by economic activity. It's no secret that the numerous local islands are the real warehouses of an unusually valuable fertilizer - guano (bird droppings). When it was mined, numerous nests of birds were destroyed on the islands, and fertile soil broke many meters, and they remained barren. The trouble was brought about by the massive invasion of tourists, hunters, fishermen. And the poisoning of the ocean expanses Earth's waste, causes rapid growth of algae, hindering the sun rays of light making our way to the reefs. Because of what coral polyps perish.

But the most terrible enemy of the nature of the Great Barrier Reef until recently was a starfish - a merciless fighter of coral polyps. It emits a special dissolving juice, absorbing them. This happened because the local population significantly reduced the number of the main enemy of the sea star - a giant triton. Fortunately, due to the ban on hunting for newts, the number of sea stars is now significantly reduced.