Year of 2017


012617
The Great Barrier Reef seen from the International Space Station

From the technological, human-made cocoon of the International Space Station, orbiting in the vast ocean of space, a view of the Great Barrier Reef off Australia’s east coast. The 133,000-square-mile reef is the largest structure on Earth that was made by living organisms. Tiny coral polyps secrete calcium carbonate to build the reef, creating a unique ecosystem for hundreds of other organisms, and they don’t charge rent to a single one.


The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres. The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.
Area: 132,974 sq miles (344,400 km²)

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