Coral reefs are large areas of the sea bottom that have been colonised by corals and are known to be home to a large number and type of animals. In fact, despite the small areas occupied by reefs, they are the backbone of the marine ecosystem and host more than a third of all the marine life found in the world. Corals provide shelter, food, breeding ground and protection from strong currents to its denizens and provide perfect diving spots for diving enthusiasts.
Awesome Coral Reef Experiences
1. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Perhaps the most famous coral reefs in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is an unforgettable experience that everyone must have. Located off the coast of Australia, this is the largest coral reef in the world and is also a very popular spot for scuba diving because of the marvellous marine life that thrives here. Large animals like sharks, rays and clams are abundant near this reef and the colourful corals are every marine lover’s paradise. We have also listed interesting facts about Great Barrier Reef.
2. Tubbataha Reef, Philippines
This beautiful reef is one of the many such reefs that surround the islands of Philippines and is a favourite diving spot for the local and international diver. Though it is frequented by large vessels, the wildlife in this area is one of the best in the country and if you manage to go at a time when there are no other boats around, you can explore the undisturbed waters and the breathtaking corals that look like an underwater garden. This is also the perfect place to spot some large animals like whale sharks, sea turtles and manta rays.
Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e1/Tubbataha_Shark.jpg
3. Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles
Everyone knows the popular tourist attractions above ground in Seychelles but what remains largely unknown is the whole different world of underwater wonders in Seychelles. The Aldabra Atoll is the second largest in the world and is home to some very unique and spectacular marine life like hard and soft corals, various types of turtles, reef fish, rays, sharks and whale sharks. You should watch this interesting the amazing Seychelles Islands.
Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seychelles_outer_islands_25.08.2009_10-20-30.jpg
4. North Emma Reef, Papua New Guinea
The North Emma Reef is not very well known outside diving circles and that is possible because of its remote location in Papua New Guinea but once you get there, it a very unique and fulfilling experience. The wide variety of rare corals like the leather coral and sea fans are common near this reef. It is also a very good spot to observe hammerhead sharks in their natural habitat. Turtles, reef fish and smaller sharks are other common visitors.
Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/97/Banana_Reef.jpg
5. Sipadan, Malaysia
Malaysia falls within the triangle of the richest and most diverse marine life in the world and all reefs in this area and popular dive sites. However, the excellent visibility and shallow depth make this an ideal destination for diving and snorkelling. A baffling amount of marine life is visible even at shallow depths and new divers too can enjoy this site. The Sipadan Island is located in the Celebes Sea and the reef starts close to the island.
Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/Photographing_Turtles.jpg
6. Belize Barrier Reef, Belize
Located in Central America near Honduras, this reef stretches between several small islands that have not become tourist havens especially for people looking for some undersea adventure. This spot is ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving and a large number of corals, as well as reef fish, has made it one of the most popular sites in Central America. If you have a month to spare, you can also participate in one of the many reef conservation projects that are run by local and international NGOs. This will allow you to give back to nature and hone your diving and snorkelling skills along with having all the perks of a diving holiday.
7. Red Sea Coral Reef
The Red Sea is located in between the coasts of Egypt and Saudi Arabia and there are many cruises, dive trips and water sports organised on this sea from the Egyptian coast. This region has some of the oldest and most vibrant reefs in the world and is renowned for being one of the cheapest and most beautiful dive destinations in the world. The most popular way to enjoy these reefs is by living aboard a cruise that tours the popular dive sites of the regions and lets the people drive two to three times a day.
8. Kauai, Hawaii
The coral reef of this region has received little attention as they are overshadowed by the amazing surfing adventures that Kauai offers visitors. However, the clear and biodiversity-rich waters surrounding this reef are some of the best to explore the underwater world. The sea is very clear and reefs are located close to the island so many fish, corals and crustaceans can be easily spotted while snorkelling and diving.
9. The Palancar Reef, San Miguel de Cozumel, Mexico
This amazing coral reef is situated very close to some of the most popular vacationing spots in Mexico and so sees many tourists who visit this place not as dedicated dive vacations but on a day off. Despite a large number of visitors, this reef is well preserved and the calm clear waters mean the visibility in this area is excellent. This spot is also suitable for novice divers since the currents are not very strong and very little swimming is required to get to the reefs.
Image SourceL: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Alyosha_is_certified.jpg
10. South Ari Atoll, Maldives
The Island nation of Maldives is a vacationer’s paradise and the vibrant coral reefs are one major reason for this. All of the resorts located on small islands surrounding the main island of Male have coral reefs surrounding them and offer snorkelling and diving trips to their guests. However, the Ari Atoll is the best place to spot larger animals like manta rays, whale sharks, large sea turtles and eagle rays apart from the smaller reef fish. The calm tropical ocean brings in many migratory marine animals but the strong rip currents can pose a bit of a challenge to new divers depending on the season.
A coral reef is the pinnacle of underwater beauty and diversity but they are rapidly disappearing because of the fluctuation in ocean temperatures and pollution of sea water. The en masse death of coral reefs is called bleaching and though this can happen due to natural causes like tsunamis, human action has accelerated it. There is dire need to save these coral reefs to prevent the total collapse of the marine ecosystem.