I love to travel. In fact, I’d say that traveling is just about my favorite things to do on this planet. Most of the time my family wants to go to the same old boring vacation hot spots; places like Disney World or boring US National Parks.
Every once in a while, though, I convince them to do something a little out of the ordinary. I’ve always wanted to check out the Great Barrier Reef. I feel that everyone should see this place at least once before they check out. It’s just one of those amazing natural spots that everyone should experience.
So let’s talk about the Great Barrier Reef!
First of all, where exactly is it? Most people already know that it’s located in Australia, but many people don’t know anything else besides that.
More precisely, it’s located on the north eastern part of Australia, right on the continental shelf. It’s hard to understand just how HUGE this thing really is, but it stretches almost 1,300 miles and actually covers an area of around 135,000 square miles. Just think of that!
Just to try to put it in perspective, that’s larger than the entire country of Italy.
The Great Barrier Reef is home of the worlds largest coral reef. Actually, it’s not just one coral reef, but almost 3,500 different reefs.
Just think about that for a minute! The 3,500 different coral reefs are actually made up of lots of smaller things as well. Things like coral islands, sandbars, continental islands with trees on them, and mangroves. Not to mention the thousands of different marine animals that live above and below the water along the reef.
Want to talk animals? The Great Barrier Reef is home to a vastly diverse range of species including green turtles (that are endangered), humpback whales, sponges, mollusks and more. There are 30 different types of mammals, over 1,400 types of fish, and over 200 kinds of birds. Just to name a few.
This entire region is under threat from Global warming, which is a big deal because almost a third of Earth’s soft coral is located there. That makes the whole thing pretty important to our ecosystem. It doesn’t really matter what side of the fence you land on when it comes to the political global warming debate, this place is in danger so you really want to experience it before it’s too late.
Not to say that it’s going to dry up and disappear next year…but still….
Of course, Australia being Australia, there’s a ton of other vacation type things to do while you’re there, but be sure to spend as much time as you can exploring one of our planet’s last great marine wildernesses…the Great Barrier Reef.
Source by Jason Markum