The Great Barrier Reef is one of the few things that can be seen from the space. What is it? It is the largest coral reef system of the world and is made by billions of tiny organism known as coral polyps.
It is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs, 900 islands and an area around 344,400 square kilometres. In shorts, it is pretty massive and stretches over the 2600 kilometres. The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.
The reef supports a very diversified sort of life and is just simply beautiful. It was selected as World Heritage Site back in 1981 and CNN even went to the lengths of calling it one of the 7 wonders of the world.The Queensland National Trust named it a state icon of Queensland. Major part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and they limit the human influence such as fishing and other activities that can ultimately effect the reef adversely. Other environmental pressures on the reef and its ecosystem include runoff, climate change accompanied by mass coral bleaching, and cyclic population outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish. According to a study published in October 2012 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the reef has lost more than half its coral cover since 1985. The reef is a great source of income as it generates over $3 billion per annum through tourism.