In the warm waters of the world ocean, there are a large number of coral islets with their lagoons and atolls, as well as the dangerous rocks, which we call the reefs. They are built by micro-coral polyps and are considered their limestone skeletons. The reef area is very impressive, and it often forms a base for some Pacific island states.
In this regard, Great Barrier Reef is the most impressive construction. It is a ridge of coral islands and cays stretching for more than 2300 km off the coast of New Guinea to the eastern coast of the Australian continent in the Coral Sea. This construction is the largest in the world and stretches for a distance of 2500 km from the coast of the continent.
The southern part of the reef is 150 kilometers wide, and in its northern part, the reef is no more than 2 kilometers wide. Scientists assume that the Great Barrier Reef consists of more than 2500 small islets, shoals, and reefs. However, the exact number is not known to anybody anyway, because many of those are only visible during low tide and then after a couple of hours once again are hiding under marine waters. It is therefore considered that the total area of the Great Barrier Reef is 210 thousand square kilometers.
They say that the Great Barrier Reef is the eighth wonder of the world, which is about 55 million years old and constantly changing.
This is a huge contraption created by small microorganisms under seaweed and sponges. Living organisms absorb calcium from seawater, which is providing the solid substance necessary for the construction. Interesting is the fact that if the corals are healthy, they are not covered by algae. They form large lawn made of various algae, which love to eat animals and fish, only whe they are dead.
Undoubtedly, this great structure poses a risk to vessels that travel without proper map. Still this is a great and unique construction, a real paradise in miniature. Wet, very favorable, warm climate throughout the year, exotic birds, great vegetation, beautiful ocean with its rich fauna and flora, attract enough tourists from all over the world, including the haunters for treasures.
Most of the small islands became the private property of the British, Australian, Japanese, and American businessmen. They build their villas and wonderful tourist bases there.
Despite the great length along the Mainland, these reefs and Islands do not hinder modern navigation as before, because at the moment there are about two dozens of well researched convenient channels.
The Great Barrier Reef is considered a huge fiber that protects the continent from destruction by frequent typhoons.
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