In our last article on Great Barrier Reef facts, we went through some generic facts that are usually told by almost everyone. Despite being generic, they were pretty interesting. However, we didn’t get to the surprising facts. In this installment of surprising Great Barrier Reef facts, we are going to do that – brush up on some of the most surprising facts that will leave you wondering. Let’s get started.
Surprising Great Barrier Reef Facts: 1-5
1. We usually learn about the seven wonders of world. However, we are not usually told about the Seven Natural Wonders of World. The Great Barrier Reef is one of them.
Just in case you were wondering about the list of Seven Natural Wonders of World, we will make your life simple. Here is the list:
- Aurora Borealis.
- Mount Everest.
- Victoria Falls.
- Grand Canyon.
- Harbor of Rio de Janeiro.
- Great Barrier Reef.
2. The Great Barrier Reef sits on the slopes of Continental Shelf. Here the depth of water averages at 35 meters. However, the moment you drop off the Continental Shelf, you will encounter a depth of 2,000 meters.
3. The coral reef has a natural predator. Wondering who can eat the solid structure? This predator goes by the name Crown-of-Thorns Starfish. This guy is known for stripping living corals off the reef. Good thing however is that the corals are capable of regrowing after a predatory attack.
4. In the reef, what we see today is basically a thin layer of live corals that are no older than 6,000 to 8,000 years. However, underneath that layer lies a thick layer of dead algae and dead corals, which are 500,000 years old.
5. Of the total coral species that are found in this entire world, more than one-third (1/3rd) are found in the Great Barrier Reef alone.
Surprising Great Barrier Reef Facts: 6-10
6. If you really think that the Great Barrier Reef is a single entity, you are grossly mistaken. It is actually a system composed of 2,900 different coral reefs along with cays and islands whose total count stands at 1,050.
7. Ever wondered how fast the corals grow? Their growth rate is 1.5 centimeters in a single year. These slow-growing corals are actually the reef’s backbone. They adapt continuously to the surrounding environment.
8. Now here is something really surprising. Did you know that the Great Barrier Reef has its very own Street View (of course underwater). It was the part of Google’s Underwater Earth project that was launched back in 2012.
9. Google didn’t send a car taped with a camera to capture the street view. It rather used Catlin Seaview Survey Project’s imagery. In case you are not aware of what this Catlin Seaview Survey Project is all about, here is a quick explanation: It was actually an expedition series that was launched in order to survey and explore and also to monitor coral reefs’ health across the world.
10. Visiting the reef will cost you some money in form of tax. The tax rate is USD 6 for a single day for a single visitor. However, the tax is applicable for any visitor who is above the age of 4 years. The money thus collected is taken by Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The money is used for protecting and preserving the extraordinary and delicate ecosystem of the reef that is gradually being destroyed by human activities and global climate change.