The decline of the coral reef is happening at twice the pace of the rainforests. It is predicated that 70% Coral Reefs will disappear by 2030 if the impact from humans doesn't change. We have less than 10 years to make a difference!
There are a number of factors that tie into the demise of the world's coral reefs, illegal, improper and overfishing habits, rising sea temperatures, sunscreen chemicals and negative tourism.
Today we wanted to look at some interesting and fun facts about coral reefs!
1) Corals have been around longer than you think! They are over 500 million years old, meaning they were around in dinosaur times. Because they take an incredibly long time to grow, some of the corals you see today have been growing as long as 50 million years!
2) Many people mistakenly think that corals are plants, when in fact they are animals that are closely related to jellyfish or anemones.
3) There are 3 different types of reefs. The fringing reefs, these are found close to the shores. The barrier reefs, which lie further out to sea and act as a barrier to the coasts and atolls, which are often mistaken for islands because they are so large and they are usually found on the rim of a lagoon.
4) Similarly to plants, corals do rely on photosynthesis to survive, which is why they thrive in clear, tropical shallow waters and are rarely found at deeper than 45 feet.
5) The biggest coral reefs in the world is Australia's Great Barrier Reef, which can even be seen from space! It spreads across 133,000-square miles. It is made up of over 2,900 individual reefs and 1,050 islands.
6) Researchers have boasted that there are many medicinal benefits to coral reefs, organisms have been found to fight illnesses and even attack cancer cells.
7) They are super slow growers, with most coral reefs only growing an average of 2 cm a year!
8) Scientists have found that coral reefs grow better where there are strong currents and waves that deliver more food to the reefs ecosystem.
9) Coral reefs improve the stability and integrity of the seabeds, they encourage growth of seagrass and other sea plants which reduces the impact of storms and aggressive waves.
10) Coral reefs contribute to the economy through fishing and tourism as well as the coastal protection they provide. It is estimated that globally coral reefs are worth £6 trillion each year.
11) Coral reefs get their stunning colours from the algae that are living in the corals. White corals are a sign of coral bleaching which is often a result of an increase in the water temperatures.
12) We know that the oceans are amazing at absorbing carbon dioxide, however this process makes the water increasingly acidic which prevents the coral from absorbing calcium carbonate which they need to maintain their skeletons.
13) There are coral reefs that can survive in deep-waters in almost complete darkness. These species are incredibly fragile and grow incredibly slowly, even slower than coral found in the shallow waters.
14) Many reefs are vital nesting grounds for different species. The abundance of crevices and nooks provide cover & protection for eggs against predators. Not only this but the large amount of sea grass gives plenty of nutrients for growing juveniles such as dugong.
15) Corals actually find plastic very tasty. Research has found that the chemical additives found in plastic seems to act as a stimulus that which appeals to the coral.
Reef Restoration Foundation
Throughout January 2021 we will be raising awareness for coral reefs, and at the end of the month we will be donating 10% of all sales to the Reef Restoration Foundation for the Great Barrier Reef! Their goal is to produce 1,000,000 new corals on the Great Barrier Reef by 2026 and we are so excited to be able to support this goal. Read more about their mission here.
You can become a coral crusader today by donating directly here or even adopting a coral: https://reefrestorationfoundation.org/pages/crusader
Coral Inspired Bracelets
Our Coral Inspired Bracelets are handmade and available in 6 different colours. Make sure to have a peak in the description to see what type of coral each bracelet is inspired by.
They are crafted using stones as well as a sea shell. When you purchase from Ocean Helper you know you are supporting awesome marine conservation charities as we donate 10% of gross profits each month to a different charity cause.