The Largest Coral Reef in the World
An important marine and ecological system, the Great Barrier Reef is situated in the Coral Sea off the northeastern coast of Queensland, Australia. What’s amazing about this marine eco-system is that it can be observed from outer space.
In fact, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world and consists of around 3,000 separate reefs and almost 1,000 islands that span a distance of approximately 1,500 miles. It’s not surprising then that this coral eco-system is considered by some authorities to be one of the world’s seven natural wonders.
A Popular Tourist Attraction
A large section of the Great Barrier Reef is safeguarded by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Therefore, the system is not impacted significantly by the activities of tourists or the fishing industry. However, global warming has affected the reef as a large amount of the coral has become bleached. Because the Great Barrier Reef is such a popular attraction, the region where it is situated rakes in over a billion dollars each year for the travel industry.
Marine Animals and Wild Life that are a Part of the Great Barrier Reef
In the Great Barrier Reef itself, you can regularly see dolphins, porpoises and whales. In fact, scientists and researchers have noted and listed thirty species of these marine mammals in this part of the world. In addition well over 1,000 species of fish make their home in the reef, including trout, snapper, bass, and the clownfish. Sea turtles also make the Great Barrier Reef home as well as dugongs – marine mammals that are closely akin in looks to the manatee or sea cow. Crocodiles can be found in mangroves on shores close to the reef as well.
A Must-see Attraction
Indeed, Australia generates a great amount of tourist dollars each year because of its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef – one of the sights that is a must-see if you visit the Pacific continent or the islands in this region.