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Beyond Beautiful: Colors of the Great Barrier Reef!

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system, and is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms.

This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. With the spectacular seascapes, landscapes, some of the most stunning marine scenery in the world - it's not hard to understand why.

This place is definitely one of those locations you should to visit in your lifetime, and if you're lucky - to scuba dive through its underwater beauty.

great barrier reef photos
Another contender for the 7 wonders of the natural world, the barrier reef is facing real danger of destruction. According to the NOAA: "Even if you don’t live near a coral reef, you can still have an impact on them. Awareness is a big step towards changing behaviors that threaten reefs, and ensuring your impact on reefs is a positive one. Therefore, we all need to be aware of the importance of, and threats to, coral reefs."

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A selection of corals on Flynn Reef make up part of the Great Barrier Reef near Queensland. This is a great place for scuba diving and many divers from Australia love to explore it.

great barrier reef photos
Anemonefish (or clownfish) hiding in its host anemone. Depending on species, clownfish are overall yellow, orange, or a reddish or blackish color, and many show white bars or patches. The largest can reach a length of 18 centimeters (7.1 in), while the smallest barely can reach 10 centimeters (3.9 in).

great barrier reef photos
 Near St. Crispin's Reef, there hides a ariegated Lizardfish among the sponges. They are bottom-dwelling fish, living in shallow coastal waters; even the deepest dwelling lizardfish lives in waters no more than 400 meters (1,300 ft). Some species in the subfamily Harpadontinae even live in brackish estuaries. They prefer sandy environments, and typically have body colors that help to camouflage them in such environments. 

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Stingray group hanging out in the shallow water near the shore of Hill Inlet, at Whisunday Islands National Park.

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A magical view outside the waters of the great barrier reef.

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Diving can be such a colorful experience.

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Close up of an Epaulette Shark at Wheeler Reef, an area known as the 'garden of eden'. 

great barrier reef photos
A blue starfish resting on coral. 

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Snorkelling with a Humphead Wrasse, their name is as funny as their serious and human looking face.

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Looking at the Pacific Ocean from space, above the area of the barrier reef.

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The beautiful Great Barrier Reef stretches on an area of over 133,000 squre miles (344,400 squre km) along the Queensland coast.

great barrier reef photos
A portion of the Great Barrier Reef as seen from the International Space Station.

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A helicopter ride over the Great Barrier Reef is a beautiful and unique experience.

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The closer we come, the more colorful it is.

great barrier reef photos
An amazing shot of a turtle, who doesn't seem to mind. There are six different species of turtles who come to the great reef to breed: The green sea turtle, The leatherback sea turtle, The Loggerhead sea turtle, the Flatback turtle, the hawksbill turtle and the Olive Ridley.

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The famous great white shark. This is only one of about 125 species of stingray, skates, sharks and chimaera live in the area of the reef.

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The types of sea snakes that live in the area of the reef like warm, relatively shallow waters (up to 160 feet / 50 meters). There are 17 different species of them living in the reef. This is an olive green sea snake.

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A christmas Tree Worm - the photo explains the name quite well.

great barrier reef photos
More than 1,500 fish species live among the corals.

great barrier reef photos
There are stars in the sky, and then there are stars at the bottom of the ocean.

great barrier reef photos
Giant clams can grow to huge sizes, up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) long. They are the largest of all clam species of course. The great barrier reef is home to over 5,000 species of mollusk.

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An octopus diving in stealth. Other than the octopus, the reef is home to more than 30 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises.

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An underwater cabbage patch near Port Douglas, Queensland.

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The beautiful colors of a chromis Viridis on purple Acropora.

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Corals come in both soft and hard species, and there are more than 400 species of them making up the reef.

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A sea turtle 'flying' through the waters of the great barrier reef.

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Small blue fishies swimming through the coral forest.

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When stressed, corals frequently expel their symbiotic algae en mass, leaving coral bereft of pigmentation and appearing nearly transparent on the animal’s white skeleton, a phenomenon referred to as coral bleaching.

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The Elisabeths Chromodoris has striking colours to warn would be predators this is not a tasty item.

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A hawkfish hovering over a fan coral.

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A cruise missle: A young White Tip Shark swimming through the great barrier reef.

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Copperband Butterflyfish near Queensland.

great barrier reef photos
There are approximately 600 continental islands including many with towering forests and freshwater streams, and some 300 coral cays and unvegetated sand cays that make up the Great Barrier Reef.

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Not all the reef life lives underwater. A basking crocodile on Green Island, Great barrier reef. This saltwater crocs live in salt marshes on the coast near the reef.

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The gorgeous coast of Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas.

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A night shot of a daisy coral feeding.

great barrier reef photos
This shot explains why this is such a great area for divers, who can see such an abundance of sea life even in these shallow waters.

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