FlipFact of the Day: The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s biggest structure made of living organisms, and can be seen from outer space.
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s seven natural wonders, and is a World Heritage Area. The 344,400-square-kilometer reef is both the largest coral reef system and the biggest living structure on Earth. And yes, it’s visible from space.
Within the Reef are 3000 individual reef systems, 760 fringe reefs, 600 tropical islands, and about 300 coral cays. The Reef serves as the natural home of countless marine organisms, including sea turtles, sharks, reef fish, and corals.
However, over the years, the Reef has lost half of its coral cover. The gravest threats to its continued existence are coral bleaching due to global warming, pollution, coastal development, and overfishing.
Today’s Science History Milestone: On September 25, 1956, TAT-1, the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system, was inaugurated.
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Cover image: NASA Earth Observatory