If you Google “Fun Facts about Coral Reefs,” you will find a ton of great content on the subject. Coral reefs are some of the most beautiful and diverse ecosystems on earth, so naturally they draw a lot of attention!
As you probably know by now, we are learning more about the ocean and coral reefs all the time. Let’s go over some of our favorite “fun facts” you may or may not know about coral reefs…
- Coral reefs support a vast diversity of life with more species per unit area than any other marine environment.
- Corals are animals, not plants. Corals are classified as animals because, unlike plants, they do not make their food.
- Coral reefs can help treat diseases. We already use organisms found in coral reefs to treat many illnesses, including cancer, and scientists expect to develop many more treatments in the future.
- Coral reefs help protect coastlines from waves, erosion, and storms. The reef structure acts as a buffer that reduces the impact waves have on the shoreline.
- Over half a billion people depend on reefs for food, income, and protection. The world’s coral reefs’ net economic value is estimated to be tens of billions per year.
- Coral reefs help clean and filter the water by trapping debris.
- Coral reefs grow best with stronger current and wave patterns, likely because the stronger waves deliver more food.
- Most coral reefs grow on the eastern side of landmasses, where the temperatures are warmer than the western side.
- The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s most extensive reef system, stretching over 1,400 miles long and encompassing a 133,000-square mile area. It comprises more than 2,900 individual reefs and 1,050 islands.
- Corals in the Red Sea can withstand extreme temperature changes of up to five degrees Celsius above average summer maximum temperatures.
And there you have it! These are just ten fun facts about coral reefs, but there are plenty more… Hopefully you learned something you may not have already known! What’s your favorite fact about corals? Feel free to drop us a line and share it with us!