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Top 10 Most Interesting Coral Reefs

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        Is anybody here fascinated by the diverse world underneath the ocean’s surface? Well today I’m here to talk to you about the most interesting coral reefs in the world. Hi, I’m Alex Shev, and I have grown up snorkeling with my family. Whether they be in Delray Beach or in the Florida Keys, I very much enjoy exploring the reefs and everything that inhabits them.

        The first reef on my list is the Great Barrier Reef, and it is located almost parallel to the Queensland coast of Australia. The reef spans more than 130,000 square miles, and is actually made up of more than 2,900 reefs and some 900 islands strung together. According to The Great Barrier Reef website, the reef includes the world's largest collection of corals (in fact, more than 400 different kinds of coral), coral sponges, mollusks, rays, dolphins, over 1500 species of tropical fish, more than 200 types of birds, around 20 types of reptiles including sea turtles, and giant clams over 120 years old. A major threat that has very much affected the reef is coral bleaching caused by warming ocean temperatures, and increasing ocean acidification. More than half of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral cover has already been lost.

        The next reef is the New Caledonia Barrier Reef, and it is located in the southwest Pacific Ocean about 750 miles off the northeast coast of Australia. The reef is about 932 miles long and is home to around 1000 species of fish, over 600 species of sponges, 5500 species of mollusks, 5000 species of crustaceans, 350 species of algae, 23 different species of birds, as well as multiple kinds of sea turtles. The World Wildlife Fund website states that some threats to this reef include intensified erosion, heavy sedimentation, coastal development, loss of coastal habitats, and small-scale infestations of the coral-feeding crown-of-thorns starfish.

        Following the New Caledonia Barrier Reef is the Raja Ampat Reef. This is a part of the Coral Triangle, located at the northwest corner of Indonesia’s West Papua province, encompassing 24,855 square miles of land and sea, including a series of more than 1,500 islands which surround the main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo. The inhabitants of this coral reef include 1300 species of fish, 5 species of rare and endangered sea turtles, 600 species of hard coral, 13 marine mammal species, 700 species of mollusk, and 57 species of mantis shrimp.

        The next reef I have on my list is the Andros Barrier Reef, and it stretches more than 120 miles along the east coast of Andros Island in the Bahamas. The Article ‘The World’s 10 Most Amazing Coral Reefs’ found on The Weather Channel website states that divers can explore a variety of zones within the reefs, from the mangrove areas near the coastline to the sheer vertical cliffs that drop thousands of feet into the Tongue of the Ocean, a deep ocean trench that separates Andros Island from New Providence to the east, and varies from more than 3,000 to more than 6,000 feet deep at its lowest point. Some species that can be found here are manta rays, rock lobsters, octopus, moray eels, tiger sharks, reef sharks, and barracuda.

        Next is the Apo Reef, and it can be found in the middle of the South China Sea spanning some 20 square miles off the coast of Apo Island. Some species that live here include dogfish tuna, jacks, barracuda, white-tip, black-tip, reef, and nurse sharks, Hawksbill sea turtles, moray eels, dolphin, and many more. The Weather Channel website says that many years of heavy fishing – including by cyanide poisoning and dynamite, which involves throwing explosives into the ocean to stun or kill everything nearby – had nearly destroyed the Philippines' Apo Reef by the early 1990s, leaving only a third of its coral cover remaining. Now fishing is banned from this area, and marine wildlife is beginning to return.



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