The world’s biggest coral reef system, the Great Barrier reef, located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia has been pronounced by scientists dead.
You heard it right. The Great Barrier Reef dead.
It is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and nine hundred islands for over 2,300 Km, over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometers.
According to a report by Spokesman, an obituary written by Rowen Jacobsen for Outside Magazine broke the news with a powerful sentence:
“The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old.”
“For most of its life, the reef was the world’s largest living structure, and the only one visible from space. It was 1,400 miles long, with 2,900 individual reefs and 1,050 islands.”
“In total area, it was larger than the United Kingdom, and it contained more biodiversity than all of Europe combined. It harbored 1,625 species of fish, 3,000 species of mollusk, 450 species of coral, 220 species of birds, and 30 species of whales and dolphins.”
“Among its many other achievements, the reef was home to one of the world’s largest populations of dugong and the largest breeding ground of green turtles.”
At the moment, it is hard to fathom which is worse- news of the Great Barrier reef dead, or the fact that very few have known it’s been suffering so much over the years. Have we even done enough for the Great Barrier Reef?
Could something have been done to save it?
“Things aren’t going to be as good as they are now- we can look forward to some very difficult times. The Great Barrier Reef is going to continue to degrade.” John Pandolfi of the University of Queensland said in a report by MENSXP.
It’s death, slowly but surely, has been reportedly caused by climate change- global warming and ocean acidification that is manifested by coral bleaching. So it all goes back to our indifference.
“I can’t even tell you how bad I smelt after the dive – the smell of millions of rotting animals” diver Richard Vevers said in a report by the Guardian.
At the age of 25 million years, the Great Barrier Reef dead.
Does this reflect the times we live in? In a time when we’ve become dictated by selfishness and greed that we forget to reflect on ourselves, for the next generation, and shy away from our responsibilities?
Photo courtesy: Sarah_Ackerman/Flickr