The Great Barrier Reef is on must-see lists for many people across the world due to its incredible corals and diverse sea-life. Here are 11 interesting facts about the Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is located off the coast of Queensland, Australia.
There is no denying that this reef is massive, with almost 3,000 individual reefs, 900 islands, and spanning over 2,600 km. It can even be viewed from space!
The reef is home to a wide diversity of species, including 6 species of turtle, 17 species of sea snake, 30 species of whale, porpoise and dolphin.
Climate change is one of the main threats to the Great Barrier Reef. The rising temperatures of the sea along leaves the coral susceptible to bleaching (and eventually death). Tourism also plays a negative role, as many damage it, leave rubbish behind and contaminate the water (e.g. sun cream).
The Great Barrier reef could be up to 20 million years old!
It’s better to visit the Great Barrier Reef during the winter months, as the scorching temperatures and stingers of the summer can be off-putting. November to May is typically known for the stinger season, and you’ll most likely have to wear a stinger suit to swim, and you’ll only be able to swim in certain enclosed areas. However, water and air temperatures are still pleasant in the winter, and you’ll most importantly avoid the jellyfish encounters!
Although some structures of the coral can date back millions of years, so do some of the creatures that live there too! Nautilus, a distant cousin to the squid, dates back to up to 500 million years. One of the surprising facts about these creatures is that it has stayed mostly unchanged across millions of years.
The Great Barrier Reef was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981. It is the only place with two World Heritage Sites, together with Daintree Rainforest located in Cape Tribulation.
The Great Barrier Reef is pretty shallow, with an average depth of 35 meters. Great news for divers! Scuba divers and snorkelers can explore at leisure as most of the corals and fish grow near to the surface, where there’s more light.