12 Interesting Facts about Coral Reef Facts For Kids 2022
Don’t you find it weird that Earth is the only planet supporting life out of all the planets in the solar system? Because we are in a perfect position in space from the sun, the earth receives ample sunlight to sustain life and the environment.
Our planet is home to 8.7 million species, and we all are connected with one invisible thread. Out of these 8.7 million creatures, coral reefs are one of them. Let’s dive into the ocean of knowledge and find some mystery facts about coral reefs.
What are Coral Reefs?
When you look at the picture of coral reefs, they look like plants at the bottom of the ocean. Isn’t it? However, coral reefs are colonies of thousands of tiny polyps that live together and protect our environment. Coral reefs are an essential part of the world’s marine ecosystem.
Here are some interesting facts that you should know about coral reefs:
12 Interesting Facts about Coral Reef
Here are some interesting facts about coral reefs that will leave you amazed and increase your curiosity to observe coral reefs in real life:
Coral reefs are classified as animals.
You might be wrong if you think that coral reefs are species of the plant kingdom. Coral reefs belong to the animal kingdom, but you cannot see them moving because they are immobile animals. Their hard and beautiful exterior and texture make them look like beautiful rocks or plants. They are small invertebrate animals called polyps that live in colonies and are a close relative of jellyfish and anemones.
Coral reefs are resilient and diverse creatures.
They have an exoskeleton made up of calcium carbonate. Coral reefs are sessile creatures meaning they cannot travel from one place to another. Coralline algae help the coral reefs to withstand the damage from storms. The Great Barrier of Australia has the best and the biggest coral reef structure in the world which stretches 2,300 km long. The most diversified coral reefs can be found in the Coral Triangle in Southeast Asia. There are three types of coral reefs, namely Barrier Reefs, Platform Reef, and Atoll.
Coral Reefs help the people living on the planet.
Coral Reefs tourism helps the local communities earn their livelihood, and the tourism industry earns billions of dollars from coral reefs. Coral reefs support the economy as the people offer different recreational activities like diving tours and fishing trips to the tourists. Moreover, restaurants and hotels contribute to the tourism industry’s income. So, coral reefs are a money magnet because they help industries earn millions of dollars.
Coral Reefs help people to recover from illnesses.
Coral reefs can be used as medicine to cure diseases and increase recovery. Scientists found that coral reefs hold the solution to cure some incurable diseases like cancer, arthritis, and bacterial and virus infection. Some coral reefs are found to cure Alzheimer’s disease too. The reason why coral reefs can help to treat diseases lies in the fact that they are stationary animals and have developed several defense mechanisms to protect themselves from predators. Scientists are researching the coral reefs’ potential to use as a medication to fight diseases.
Coral Reefs protect the coastlines from the inevitable.
Another fun fact about coral reefs is that corals are life-saviors when saving people during storms. According to the studies, coral reefs act like a buffer and reduce the impact of the massive wave that is about to hit the shore during tropical cyclones.
The studies also found that beaches without coral reefs suffered soil erosion ten times more than those with coral reefs during the cyclones. Soil erosion is a gradual process where the soil particles from the top layer of soil get washed away due to rainfall or strong winds.
Coral reefs love to clean the surroundings.
Coral reefs love to clean their environment and tidy up the space wherever they grow. Ocean water looks crystal clear because of coral reefs! They are filter feeders that consume the matter that settles on the ocean floor. This matter makes the ocean look dirty, so we should be grateful to these creatures for keeping their surroundings clean.
Sand on the beaches is a part of the coral reef.
Have you ever wondered where the sand comes from on the beaches? Well, the answer is from the coral. Along with broken down shells, coral’s skeleton also plays a significant role in building the beaches. Moreover, some coral species produce sand as part of coral consumption.
Coral reefs are supportive creatures.
More than 4,000 fish species depend on coral reefs as a substantial food source. While this might be even shocking, 15 tons of healthy fish per square kilometer are produced annually with the help of coral reefs. Even though coral reefs are not plants, they are known as rainforests of the sea because 25% of fish depend on them for a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, the other fish also help the coral to stay healthy and clean. Parrotfish spend 90% of their day eating the algae on the coral reefs.
Coral reefs are beautiful because of their diet.
Coral reefs are proof that you are what you eat. They eat the algae that live inside them. They have a unique relationship with algae species known as zooxanthellae. The algae inside the coral polyps make food using sunlight to provide the coral’s energy and sugar to survive.
Coral reefs are strong, but human activities break them down.
It is said that our activities disturb the environment and ecosystem of other organisms living on this planet. Whether it happens directly or indirectly, coral reefs living inside the ocean also get affected by our activities on the ground. For instance, dug-up soil particles eventually settle at the bottom of the ocean after floating in the air. These sediment particles block sunlight, which is essential for every organism living on this planet.
The oldest coral reef has its home in the United States.
Coral reefs have a lifespan of more than 5,000 years if humans do not interfere in their ecosystem. The oldest coral reef lives near the coast of Isle La Motte in Lake Champlain, Vermont. It goes by the name Chazy Reef, and scientists believe it was formed around 480 million years ago during the Neoproterozoic and Paleozoic eras.
Coral reefs believe in slow and steady growth.
Coral reefs are slow-paced creatures as the growth rate is estimated to be around 2-10 cm annually. Coral reefs love to live on a warmer, eastern side of the land, where they get stronger wind and currents.
Coral reefs are one of the most beautiful creatures on this planet, just like other living organisms that thrive on the Earth. However, they are in danger. Our greedy and indecisive activities have threatened their environment and ecosystem, and their lives are at risk.
The ozone layer depletion is one of the causes threatening their livelihood because coral reefs live in temperatures of 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. And due to global warming and pollution, the temperature on Earth is increasing steadily.
We must find a way to cure the environmental problems and save coral reefs from danger. You know how coral reefs are essential for our survival. If you love learning facts about things in the world, click here to find numerous cool facts that will blow your mind!