Did you know that the value of coral reefs is about 30 billion dollars?
It’s no surprise that coral reefs fascinate so many people when they see them.
They are some of the most mysterious and biologically diverse structures on Earth.
Keep reading to learn some mind-blowing facts about coral reefs you didn’t know.
10 Mind-Blowing Facts About Coral Reefs You Didn’t Know
Coral reefs are beautiful to go see or watch in a documentary. They are so beautiful that some people choose to have them in home aquariums especially when going through a home renovation to add some more style. They have to do some homework and learn more in order to keep their aquarium ecosystem perfect.
When coral reefs are healthy it means that the water around it is also healthy. While many of us find them beautiful and fascinating they are an important part of all of life on earth. There are so many facts about coral reefs that are mind-blowing.
The reason coral reefs are colorful is because of the algae. The algae live inside the reef and provide the reef with its food.
The most common color for corals is light and golden brown. They are also found in bright green, bright blue, and magenta or red. They are able to change their color based on where they are and their environment.
When they are colorful it’s an indication that they are healthy. When coral turns white or clear it’s a sign that they are stressed.
2. Hard Shell
When coral is removed out of its water environment the hard shell you see is the shell of a polyp. Polyps are soft-bodied organisms that have a hard base which is what forms the structures of coral reefs.
The polyp attaches itself to a rock on the ocean floor and then divides into thousands of clones.
3. Not Plants
Many people confuse corals for being plants. They’re actually not plants, they’re animals or organisms related to anemones and jellyfish.
4. Fishing Industry
In the fishing industry, coral reefs are very important. They’re a natural habitat for the baitfish that are used to fish for large species of fish such as, tuna.
Destructive fishing or overfishing is not good for coral reefs which is why there are laws in certain places to prevent overfishing certain areas.
5. Strong Currents
Wherever there are strong currents and strong wave patterns are where reefs grow the strongest. The stronger the currents and waves are, means that more food is delivered to all of the animal life that helps create the structure.
Coral reefs believe it or not is home to thousands of species, making them one of the most biodiverse marine areas on the planet. Coral reefs are nurseries for large fish species to keep the babies safe until they’re large enough to go into deeper water. They’re also an important location to find food, mates, and shelter for many marine species.
7. Water Quality
The water quality found around coral reefs is improved because they act as filters. The reefs trap things that are floating in the water. This makes for clean water all around the coral reefs.
Coral reefs depend on having quality water around them in order to survive and thrive.
8. Sea Bed
The sea bed is more stable wherever you find coral reefs growing. They help sea plants and seagrass survive. The more plants that grow on the seabed, the fewer impact surges and storms are able to have on the seabeds.
The plants that are protected by the coral reef don’t allow the bottom of the bed to be washed out deeper. Manatees and other sea mammals are able to feed and raise their calves near these seabeds of seagrass. It provides their young a more protected environment before going out on their own.
In a 2017 study, they found that corals mistake plastic for food and eat it. They also found that corals like and prefer the taste of plastic. During the experiment, they fed a group of corals different options including tiny bits of plastic and they preferred the plastic each time.
They also found that they prefer unfouled plastic during their study suggesting that something in the plastic itself is tasty to them.
Coral reefs are an important source of new medicines in the medical industry. They help in the development of medicines that are being developed for arthritis, heart disease, viruses, Alzheimer’s disease, bacterial infections, and cancer.
They have found that parts of the coral reef can be harvested to make the medications. The reason they have helped in the medicinal world is that since they’re stationary animals they have evolved defenses in order to protect themselves in times of change and against predators. Scientists research the medicinal potential of reefs on a daily basis.
Coral reef ecosystems are sometimes called the medicine cabinets of the 21st century because of all the possibilities they bring to medicine. They might represent an important source of medical treatments in the future. They might also become an important source of supplements, makeup, and pesticides in the near future.
Lots of Interesting Info
Who would’ve thought that there were so many facts about coral reefs? Looking at them always brings a mystery and fascination but now after reading the ten fun facts above, that you probably didn’t know you will see them through a different lens next time you encounter coral reefs.
Whether you’re a huge fan of the ocean or not you have to admit that marine life is fascinating and mysterious.
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