coral reef facts
Coral Reef Facts
Coral reefs are marine ridges formed by skeletons, which are mainly composed of calcium carbonate. The following article will shed some light on amazing facts pertaining these structures.
- Coral reefs are the largest living structures on our planet.
- They cover less than 1% of the Earth's surface, but in spite of this fact, they are home to 25% of all the species of the marine fish.
- The major examples of corals are: soft corals, hard corals, whip corals, sea pens, organ pipe coral, black coral, etc.
- These organisms grow in a single and stable spot, and remains there for the rest of their life.
- They are the oldest ecosystems present on the planet.
- Most of the reefs are located in the Pacific ocean.
- Almost 500 people all over the world are relying on them for their livelihood, and most importantly for food.
- Around the world, these reefs are responsible for generating more than USD 350 billion per year regarding the tourism, goods and services, food industry, pharmaceutical industry, etc.
- These structures protect the shorelines, agricultural land, coastal dwellings, and beaches from the eroding forces of the sea waves, in the form of natural barriers.
- If the reefs did not exist, Florida would be under water.
- Scientists working off the coast of Bahia (state in Brazil), have discovered a vast region of coral reefs that were unknown.
- The researchers studying them off the coast of Australia, have found over 300 species of soft corals.
- These are being also used for treating cancer, HIV, ulcers, and cardiovascular diseases.
- The porous coral limestone has been used in the manufacturing of bone grafts for humans.
- The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world, and is located towards northeast of Queensland, Australia. It is composed of about 3,000 small reefs, and it covers an area of approximately 350,000 sq. km. It was formed around 500,000 years ago.
- Researches say that by taking the present condition into consideration, if the rate of destruction continues, almost 70% of the coral pecies will be destroyed by the year 2050. Hence, it is of utmost importance for saving these reefs.
- Coral bleaching and water pollution is harming them at an alarming rate, which results in their destruction.