5 Facts You Never Knew About The Great Barrier Reef

Image by Frauke Feind from Pixabay

The Great Barrier Reef is 2,300 km long and is so big that it is the only living thing on Earth visible from space. These are two pretty awesome facts already, but here are 5 more things we bet you never knew.

The Reef Is Alive

Coral polyps are tiny colonial animals and their cells contain symbiotic algae. These polyps produce calcium carbonate which expands. Marine life grabs onto the colony and the pieces grow to create the reef, which is made up entirely of living organisms.

The Reef Is Home To The World’s Most Dangerous Marine Animal

The Great Barrier Reef is home to 30 species of dolphins and whales, 1,500 species of fish and 17 different kinds of sea snake. It is also home to the most dangerous marine animal to humans, and it is not a shark or a stingray. It is in fact the box jellyfish, which has a sting that is so painful, humans die of shock or heart failure before they can make it out of the water.

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Big box jellyfish have 24 eyes 😳 • This is probably one of the more bizarre things we learned about jellyfish. • Apparently their eyes are on the side of their body and all look inwards as they use their body as a lens to see through. Their eyes are grouped in six lots of four eyes. • Jellyfish are fast swimmers 🏊🏻‍♂️ • Studies show that big box jellyfish can swim faster than any Olympic swimmer. • Jellyfish sleep at night 🌛 • Scientists have only recently learned that jellyfish settle on the bottom of the ocean floor at night to sleep and then feed during the day. • Filmed and Edited by @istvan_zoboki_  from @crystalimageskohtao • Come visit Koh Tao and enjoy some of the most fantastic and safest scuba diving in the world. • Book OW & AOW and Videography Courses together! • We visit every #dive site around Koh Tao and operate up to 6 dive boats every day! • Follow us on Facebook ( @crystalimageskohtao ). • You can direct message for price enquiries on any of the diving and videography courses! Book early and come join in the fun! • #underwater #videooftheday #videography #divingkohtao  #kohtaodiving #diveonkohtao #divingonkohtao #holidaykohtao #kohtaoholiday #kohtao #travelkohtao #divingthailand #divinginthailand #divethailand #thailanddiving @padi @gates.underwater @natgeo @bbc #boxjellyfish #boxjelly #scubadiverslife #underthesea #instafish #coral #reef #tropical #explore #discover #underwaterworld

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The Reef Is Protected

In 1981, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A tourist tax of $6.50 is charged per person per day to help fund conservation. The reef attracts 2,000,000 visitors per year.


You Can View The Great Barrier Reef On Google Street View

When Google launched its Street View feature on maps, we all hunted down our streets and found our house. Since 2012, we have also been able to take a virtual tour through the Great Barrier Reef. It’s the perfect way to relax before bed.

There’s An Annual “Underwater Snowstorm”

Once a year, coral spawns in synchronicity. Colonies of coral polyps release billions of tiny eggs, creating an image not too dissimilar to an underwater blizzard or snowstorm. Scientists are still unsure exactly why this happens, but they can agree that it is rather spectacular.