Great Barrier Reef
- The definition of the Great Barrier Reef is the coral reef that is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Facts About the Great Barrier Reef
- It is the largest coral reef system in the world. It is 1250 miles long.
- It is actually a series of smaller reefs.
- It took between 50,000 and 100,000 years for it to form off the northeastern coast of Queensland, Australia.
- As with all barrier reefs, a lagoon separates the barrier reef from the coast.
- Reefs have to have clean and shallow water, sunlight, and a water temperature between 64.4 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 30 degrees Celsius).
- Four hundred species of coral have been found there, as well as 4,000 species of mollusk and 2,000 different kinds of fish.
- The Great Barrier Reef acts as a buffer between the strong waves of the Pacific and the shores of Australia.
- Many parts of the Great Barrier Reef have islands made of piled up coral sand.
- If ocean temperatures increase as scientists are predicting, then the Great Barrier Reef could lose 95% of its living coral by 2050.
An example of the Great Barrier Reef is the coral reef on the continental shelf of Australia.
The Great Barrier Reef.Licensed from iStockPhoto
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.