We look at coral reefs and go “oh, so pretty!”, but these magnificent reefs are actually the planet’s unassuming heroes. They cover only less than 1% of the ocean floor, but healthy coral reefs equals to healthy oceans, and that means a healthy planet. Here are more amazing facts about these picturesque underwater habitats!
1. Coral reefs are not plants! They are animals, and closely related to jellyfish and anemones. They, however, rely on photosynthesis to survive.
2. People eat coral reefs! They are a vital food source for those living near reefs and to the world’s fisheries as nurseries.
3. The bright, pretty colours we admire on coral reefs are thanks to the pigments or algae in their tissues!
4. Coral reefs provide a life-giving environment! As a habitat, it supports more species per unit area than any other marine environment.
5. Who would have guessed that coral reefs help to protect against natural disasters? They are barriers against hurricanes, typhoons and tsunamis.