On the north east coast of Australia is the largest and most famous coral formation in the world, which stretches for 2000 km, the Great Barrier Reef. The first formations date back to 28 million years ago and has more than 400 different species of magnificent corals.
Contrary to what many think, and until the early 1700s it was usual to believe that corals were plants or flowers. Subsequently professionals and naturalists have classified them animals and more specifically marine cnidaria. In fact it was the French naturalist André Peyssonel that in 1726 proved that the corals were nothing but external skeletons of tiny animals, polyps, belonging to madrepore, not to be confused with the octopus that instead are shellfish . At first no one believed him and only after many years his discovery was confirmed.
The coral skeleton is white and its fabric to give it color, and if they are of different types. When diving to many happened to touch them and noticed that they retire showing precisely the white skeleton that also consists in a sort of protection or “shell” to retreat soon feel the danger. Around the corals are formed real colonies of various fish, which create a real village life and where to find food.
Other coral species are those soft, without the skeleton and stand out in the bottom of the sea for their oscillating movements that follow the currents, with thick multi-colored is a real show of underwater nature.
So, is possible to see this wonder is through scuba diving but also near the shore of some islands that stretch in the middle of the Great Barrier. The important thing is always to take the right precaution if you decide to deal with this kind of trip and dive and remember not to mess up, gather and consider bringing home coral, shells or other marine species. Australia has strict laws in regard with accurate controls and heavy fines in case you find in possession of one of these “souvenirs” , although to pick it up was not you, but rather bought in any market or simply found on the beach.
Leave things to stay in our habitat, because already there are many problems regarding pollution and devastation of landscapes, we always try to respect the environment because it continues to give us some wonderful performances.
Happy travels to all !