The Great Barrier Reef is something that more people have seen on TV than up close and personal, which is why the dive experience on the reef is so exceptional. While millions of people may have a good idea of how it looks, they will never experience the wonders and sheer immensity of it for themselves.
Diving on the reef is more than pleasurable it is a joy, the diversity of the [marine life] is truly incredible and the corals and sponges are simply stunning. Perhaps it is just as well it’s not available to everyone as if it was its beauty may not be as appreciated or as long lasting.
10 Facts About The Great Barrier Reef
The Reef is actually a vast composite reef which is made up of around 2,900 individual, unique reef formations. These separate reefs can range in size from anywhere between an impressive 1 hectare to a staggering 100,000 hectares in size.
The entire Great Barrier Reef covers an area of over 34,000,000 hectares (344,044 square Km), which is more total land area than the entire country of Italy. It edges around a massive 2,300 km of stunning Gold Coast coastline from Southern Queensland up to the Torres Strait.
The wide and diverse life that has made its home of the reef is a reflection of the mature and well established ecosystem that has established itself in the area, which has gained it the recognition of being one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems currently known to man.
It is currently estimated that there are over 1,500 different species of fish that have made the Great Barrier Reef their home which represents as least 10% of the known species of fish around the world. Have a glimpse below the waves with google street view.
Add to the 1,500 species of fish another 4,000 individual species of molluscs, 400 unique and distinct types of sponges and at least 360 different species of hard corals and you probably have the most densely populated and rich ecosystem on the planet.
Many endangered species have made the reef their home, like amazing loggerhead and green turtles who seem to glide effortlessly through the beautiful blue waters, with the reef also being the preferred breeding ground of the majestic humpback whale who make the journey here every year.
Though the Great Barrier Reef does nothing but simply exist, and for the most part remains out of view, it manages to contribute in excess of $6 Billion to the economy of Australia, purely in the amount of tourism it attracts to the Australian coastal resorts.
Along with the boost to the Australian economy the reef also provides a range of jobs in the tourism and leisure industry, enough jobs for approximately 63,000 people in total up and down the coastline.
The Great Barrier Reef attracts over 1,000,000 visitors annually who come to experience the reef for themselves, whether they choose to snorkel or dive or simply swim in the beautiful waters here, it is the reef that draws them to the region.
The reef has been designated a World Heritage Site which means it is for all intents and purposes an underwater National Park, which has earned it the title of being one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Anyone who has experienced the reef for themselves will certainly agree with that description of it.
A Scuba Dive on The Reef - Once Experienced Never Forgotten
Anyone who has taken part in a reef dive anywhere in the world thinks they have seen incredible beauty and an amazing array of life, but they have seen nothing that can compare to the wonders that lie beneath the waves here.
As soon as they have experienced the immensity of the Great Barrier Reef they will understand what beauty and wonder really is. It seems to be without end, a coral formation encrusted with many colorful jewels in the forms of anemones and sponges.
Brightly colored fish dart in and out of the amazing landscape and off in the distance the silhouettes of large game fish and reef sharks can be seen.
Rays glide by seemingly in silent flight and schools of shimmering fish reflect the warming rays of the sun. Once you are immersed deep in the water here you will almost feel as though you are looking at the landscape of another planet, vast and beautiful, and something that only a privileged few will ever get to see first hand.
Did we mis any crucial facts about the Great Barrier Reef? Let us know in the comments below
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Blog written by: Rutger Thole and his team work full time to create a platform where divers can go to if they are looking for anything scuba related. It started with a simple blog who knows where it ends. The team is dedicated to make a change within the dusty old scuba industry.