What are the coral reefs like? The coral reefs are amazing form of life that can be seen only in the warm seas of our planet. They need intensive sun shining all year around. They are really susceptible to chill. In this reason the reefs can be found only in the area around and between the tropical circles at that only if the ocean streams are warm. Except for warm seas and plenty of sunshine, the corals need also shallow waters for their growth. They can be found at a dept of not more than 40 meters. Sometimes can be seen corals in more significant dept, but this is rather an exception of the rule.
The corals that inhabit deeper waters are rather an exception to the rule. Frequently the coral reef are situated around underwater volcanoes near by the oceanic surface or around volcanic islands.
When the volcano become extinct and begins to sink into the ocean, the coral reef retain its entirety and even lengthens its accumulation. Sometimes around the sunk volcanic island can be formed a coral ring.
Its name is atoll. Except around volcanic islands, the coral reefs can be formed also around the underwater mountains as well as near by the continental coast, if the conditions are suitable.
How are the coral reefs formed and what is their significance for the environment? These unusual creatures drag out of the sea water calcium carbonate. After that they turn it into limestone.
This limestone form the hard body of the coral. In the course of the time, for hundreds and even thousands of years, this calcium carbonate form the coral reef. The tropical reefs are really attractive to the countless species of small and big colourful fishes.
The fishes are in great competition for the most attractive parts of the reef. The diversity of animal species in the coral reefs is sometimes even greater than the diversity of the tropical rainforests.
Between 300 and 400 is the number of colours that variegate the different types of corals. Because of the great diversity of colours and tints, the local fishes are not less colourful, because they need to fuse with the environment.
For the fishes and other animal species is very important to be invisible in this dangerous environment. The colours also have to help them to find and catch nutrition.
Where can be found the coral reefs? The corals love warm climate and water. They can be found only between the tropical circles at that if there are warm ocean streams. The perfect temperatures for the corals vary between 25 and 30°C.
The biggest coral reef on the planet is The Great Barrier Reef. It is 2030km long and is situated on the north-east coast of Australia (near by the coast of Queensland). Coral reefs can be found also around the coast of northern and western Australia, but they are not so large.
In this part of the world can be seen coral reefs around the coast of Columbia, Venezuela, Surinam, Guyana, French Guiana and the east and northeast parts of Brazil. But the diversity of corals in North America is really amazingly!
Unfortunately, the reefs in this part of the world are strongly affected by the fast growth of the tourist industry. On the Caribbean is located the second largest coral reef on the planet.
In North America also can be found the most distanced of the equator coral reef. It is located in the shallow waters of The Bermuda Islands. The reason to exist reef so far from the tropics is the warm current of Gulfstreem.
The only continent where can not be seen coral reef is Europe, because it is situated too far from the tropics.
Some of the most beautiful coral reefs on the planet can be seen among the water sheets of south-east Pacific. One of the most amazing places on the planet with its coral lagoons is French Polynesia.
Why the reefs are so important for the tourist industry? The beauty of the corals is highly esteemed among the divers and the lovers of the under water experiences.
The diving in the waters of The Great Barrier Reef can not be compared with anything else. On the places where the reefs are situated near by the coast, the huge ocean waves are break into the reefs and the waters between the reef and the coast are almost ever calm with typical azure colour.
In addition, under the influence of the huge waves, the corals are break up into fine white powder that stratify on the coast. Because of this reason, the biggest part of the coral islands are famous with their white and fine beaches.
Which is the worst enemy of the corals? The human with its economic activity is the worst enemy to the coral reef‘s prosperity. The emission of harmful gases in the atmosphere causes serious damages to the reefs.
The large quantities of carbon dioxide is very dangerous. In fact, the corals absorb the carbon dioxide, but when its quantities cross the frontier of the coral‘s opportunities, everything turn out of the line and instead to absorb, the corals begin to emit extra quantities of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
In the world can be seen many coral reefs that are already dead because of the not well-treated sewage of the large tropical resorts.
The situation is most dangerous in the Caribbean Sea, because of its fast growing touristic industry. The most pessimistic prognosis show that the coral reefs will die to the 50-es – 60-es years of the 21th century if the world pollution don’t be stopped.
Many people probably could overlook to this statement, but in the end, in our planet everything is connected and earlier or later the humanity will realizes its mistake.
In the last decades we are witnesses to massive discolouration of coral reefs. This fact must be a sign to the people that something is wrong and the time for changes has come.