“Maybe space is under the sea, and the sky is full of coral reefs.”
If you think that sea life only includes fish, marines, shores and blue or green water, you are wrong. There are so many things in the sea other than these. Today the star of our writing is a coral reef; I know most people do not know about this. People love to experience sea life, and many companies offer different packages to give a glimpse of this life changing experience.
As discussed above, there are so many hidden gems in the oceans that are far from ordinary people’s eyes. One of those gems is coral reefs.
What are coral reefs?
“Corals build underwater cities.”
Coral reefs are the underwater structure made up of dead and living corals. Usually, these reefs form in the tropical marine areas and tropics up to the temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. If we say that coral reefs are the home of so many sea species, then it is not wrong. According to the stats coral reefs protect and support more species than the marine ecosystem, including the following:
- 400 species of fish
- 800 species of hard corals
- And hundreds of other marine life creature
These stats do not include thousands of different species that take shelter under these coral reefs. To give you more knowledge we divided the parts into the following categories for better understanding:
According to history, due to the melting of the last ice age, sea level has risen, causing the formation of coral reefs. If this theory is correct, then it has been almost 10,000 years when a coral reef formed. Coral reefs grow upward, and, in any case, if they do not happen that way, they drown in the water. There are the following main types of coral reefs:
- Fringing coral reefs (It is the most common type, and it takes ten thousand years to grow).
- Atoll coral reefs (Atoll is the result of fringing reefs, and they grow in oval shape underwater. Atoll takes up to 30 million years to develop.)
- And Barrier coral reefs (It is like fringing coral reef).
Coral reefs are a very fragile ecosystem, and they require warm, sunlit water to live and grow. Most of the type naturally grows near the land, which sometimes damages them by poison, dirt, or boats. There are the following threats that coral reefs are facing and trying hard to survive in the sea:
- The dirty water looks cloudier, which makes the sunlight less in the sea, causing the death of corals.
- Plastic poison or pollution can kill corals.
- Corals are hard for ships to see but easy to damage and hit. The hitting can damage to vessel and coral both.
Most extensive coral reefs in the world
Mostly coral reefs located in the tropical oceans and following are the most extensive coral reefs:
- Great barrier reef in Australia.
- The second one is in; coast of Belize in Central America.
- And the others are in Hawaii, the Red sea and in other tropical oceans.
Why are coral reefs important for humans?
“Hurricanes have come and gone. Coral reefs have persisted.”
Coral reefs do not only have importance for the sea animals, but they also attract humans, and they find it attractive due to mesmerizing beauty and beautiful colors. Most of the people go for the snorkeling to see the beauty of these coral reefs. Apart from these there are following points to show importance in human life:
- Coral reefs are the best way to protect coastal protection; although they cover less than 1% area of the ocean, the security is still robust. The rainforest of sea supports 25% of marine life and protects humans from hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones, typhoons, and other natural disasters.
- Coral reefs are the home of over one million sea plants, sea mammals, and animals. Marine life takes shelter in these reefs because they provide nitrogen, other nutrients, and assist in carbon fixing.
- Coral reefs keep the fishery industry alive, and about half of managed fisheries depend on these reefs. According to national marine fisheries service, the fishery industry of the United States is over 100 million dollars. The great barrier reef is contributing 1.5 billion AUS dollars in the economy.
- The largest industry of tourism also depends on coral reefs, and they earn so much from nature-based tourism. People swim to see the beauty of coral reefs, and these 70 million trips contribute around 16 billion dollars every year.
- Corals have significant medicinal protection, and scientists have made so many products from a marine organism. The medical industry took cancer therapy from algae, painkillers from snail venom, and Ara-C developed found from the Caribbean reef.
- These reefs are a rich source of food, employment opportunities, and protection. World economy bases on these and, according to one estimate world, earn almost $298 billion from these reefs.
Although these coral reefs provide protection, medicine, money, entertainment, and food to humans, we do not take care of them. Humans are becoming the biggest threat to this natural source, and now many reefs are a pale shadow of what they were.