Coral reefs are calcium carbonate secreted underwater structures by corals. Corals are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients which covers about 0.2% of the ocean floor which is also home to nearly 25% of all marine life. Following is a list of top 10 largest coral reefs of the world.
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Most popular and by far most largest of all coral reefs is The Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is more than 2,500 km long and about 384,000 square km providing home to more than 400 marine species. Unfortunately, The Great Barrier Reef is under threat and shrinking fast due to pollution and fishing.
Red Sea Coral Reef, Between Africa & Asia
The Red Sea coral reef is more than 1,900 kilometers in size alongside Israel, Egypt and Djibouti. The main reasons for the better development of reef systems along the Red Sea is because of its greater depths and an efficient water circulation pattern.
New Caledonia Barrier Reef, New Caledonia
New Caledonia Barrier Reef is about 1,500 kilometers in length in New Caledonia, Pacific Ocean. Due to illegal nickel mining some parts of New Caledonia Barrier Reef has been destroyed.
The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Belize
The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is a connected barrier reefs which stretches through Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Guatemala. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is more than 943 km long and only 10% of species are discovered.
Florida Reef, Florida, United States
Florida Reef stretches around 322 km and is believed to be 7,000 year old. It falls between Atlantic ocean, Gulf of Mexico near Key West.
Andros Coral Reef, Bahamas
Andros Coral Reef is found between islands of Andros and Nassau in the Bahamas. Andros Coral Reef in the Bahamas is around 6,000 square km in size.
Saya De Malha, Indian Ocean
Saya De Malha in Indian Ocean in the largest atoll in the world which is more than 40,00 square km long currently under Mauritius. Mauritius government is using the area for breeding blue whales.
Great Chagos Bank, Maldives
Great Chagos Bank in Maldives is second to largest atoll Saya Del Malha in the world which is roughly 12,000 square km in size.
Reed Bank, South China Sea
Reed Bank atoll under South China Sea is roughly 8,900 square km under Philippines.
Zhongsha Islands, South China Sea
Zhongsha Islands in South China Sea is an atoll which is merely 81 square mile long but has an area of 6,448 square km. Zhongsha Islands stretches from China, Taiwan and the Philippines.
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