Coral reefs are simply underwater structures made from living and dead corals, and home to fish and other marine creatures. They were formed thousands of years ago by melting ice, but these fragile ecosystems need warm water with sunlight to live. The best-known coral reef in the world is Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
The problem is that climate change and pollution has ‘bleached’ many coral reefs, due to warmer temperatures. Ships often crash into them in shallow waters, and mass tourism has negative effects. Some companies use dynamite or chemicals to trap tropical fish, to transport them abroad as pets (often due to advice from ‘fake feng shui’ that says people need fish tanks to follow advice (if you do follow this ‘earth science’, a fountain of running water in the right place does the same, and you should not place running water in the house without knowing what you’re doing, which usually involves a compass, mathematical knowledge and a classically trained feng shui practitioner).
The best way to protect coral reefs is to avoid mass tourism and live a simple organic life. Also use reef-friendly sunscreens (natural sun lotions often contain pet-toxic zinc or titanium dioxide – wash off before allowing animal friends to lick your skin!)
A Coral Reef Story is a gorgeous illustrated guide to creatures that live in our tropical seas. Learn how tiny coral polyps come together on the night of the full moon. We then learn how coral reefs form and meet the creatures that live in them: turtles, barracudas, stripy fish and great white sharks. You’ll learn about hermit crabs that jump in each other’s discarded shells (a good reason not to litter the ocean as some climb into rubbish instead). There are also plenty of heartwarming moments, like a mother humpback whale tucking her calf under the fin (and a clownfish fiercely guarding eggs).