The Great Barrier Reef (Queensland, Australia)

The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system and single structure.  Located off the coast of Queensland, Australia, the reef system is composed of more than 2,900 individual reefs and encompasses more than 344,400 km2.  Much of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which limits the impact caused my humans on the system.

Composed of billions of coral polyps, the Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space.  The multitude of polyps support a wide variety of animal life and the reef system is a World Heritage Site as well as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

Great Barrier Reef Facts

  • The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world.
  • More than 2 million people visit the reef each year
  • The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living structure.
  • The single largest threat to the coral of the reef is climate change and ocean acidification.
  • Over 1,500 different species of fish live in the Great Barrier Reef.
  • 10% of the worlds total fish species can be found within the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Scientists estimate the age of the reef system to be more than 20 million years old.