Wed, Nov 3, 2010
One of the most beautiful gifts that Australia has been given by nature, the Great Barrier Reef is a thing of beauty and wonder, and has been a joy to travelers all around the world who come here to admire the beautiful region. The largest coral reef formation in the world, the Great Barrier Reef Australia is said to be the only living thing on the planet that can be seen from outer space. The reef is a heavenly location, and there is a cornucopia of marine creatures that have their home here. The reef is comprised of close to three thousand individual reef systems as well as coral cays, and houses some of the most heavenly islands on earth, with golden sands, and crystal clear waters being the draw. There are hundreds of little islands in this region.
The Great Barrier Reef Australia is indeed a phenomenon, and is among the seven wonders of the natural world. The reef is a magnificent entity, larger than the Great Wall of China, and is visible from outer space, and is the only living thing to be so. It is the largest single structure in the world that is completely formed out of living things. There is a whole range of living species that are being supported by the Great Barrier Reef, and many of these are endemic to the reef. There are many endangered and vulnerable species of animals as well that are housed in the Great Barrier Reef.
The history and evolution of the Great Barrier Reef is something that has been a source of fascination for geologists, oceanographers and other experts since ages, and the reef has a history that is extremely lengthy and diverse. The reef was formed by multiple generations of coral, who made their habitat in this region and was later found out and settled in by man.
The Great Barrier Reef is a humungous structure, and is extremely ancient. The Reef dates back to more that 20 million years ago. The reef is composed totally of living coral that grows on dead coral, and this process has continued since 20 million years ago, and has lead to the formation of what is now the Great Barrier reef. The dead coral have formed into huge amounts of rock, and is covered by a whole range of organisms like coral, crustaceans, snakes, molluscs, fish, sponges, algae, star fish, turtles, anemones, as well as a whole range of unique flora and fauna, numbering upto tens of thousands.
There is no physical or documentary evidence about the exact time when humans first discovered the reef, but this must have happened quite some time ago. There has been settlement by the Aboriginal people more than forty thousand years ago in parts of Australia, and the Torres Strait Islander and the Aboriginal peoples have navigated the reef since a long time. They have fished here, and hunted here.