Insight Into: Coral Reefs
Half a billion people depend on coral reefs for food, their livelihood (from fishing or tourism), a natural defense from storms, and in some cases, the land they live on.
Coral Reef: Video Segments
Terrestrial Tour: Coral Reefs at Risk
Above and Beyond: The Maldives
Above and Beyond: Coral Reefs in New Caledonia
Insight Into: Coral Reefs
Above and Beyond: Madagascar’s Coral Reefs
Myth vs Reality: Coral Reef Climates
Above and Beyond: Atafu Atoll
Myth vs Reality: What Corals Are
At a Glance: Coral Reefs
Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with the NASA Earth Observatory.
All images, illustrations, and videos courtesy of NASA except:
· Great Barrier Reef underwater video footage courtesy of Andy Green at greenwaterproductions.net
· Photo of reef fishers courtesy of Rebecca Weeks/Marine Photobank
· Sea creature illustration copyright The National Library of Israel, Shapell Family Digitization Project _and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Geography – Historic Cities Research Project
· Photo of fish at a coral reef courtesy of Linda Wade/NOAA
· Photo of a dead reef in American Samoa copyright Wolcott Henry 2005/Marine Photobank
· Photo of a bleached reef courtesy of Armando Jenik 2009/Marine Photobank
· Staghorn coral photo courtesy of William Harrigan/Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary/NOAA
· Photo of coral in Perhentian Islands, Malaysia, courtesy of Nazir Amin
· Mediterranean red coral photo courtesy of Lorenzo Bramanti/Marine Photobank
· Gorgonian coral photo courtesy of Mohammed Al Momany/NOAA
· Acropora table coral photo copyright Pete Faulkner, Mission:awareness/Marine Photobank
· Sewage pipe photo courtesy of Steve Spring/Marine Photobank
· Photo of coral with black band disease courtesy of Sven Zea, Universidad Nacional de Colombia/Marine Photobank
· Blast-fishing photo courtesy of Benjamin De Ridder/Marine Photobank
· Photo of coral with yellow band disease courtesy of Craig Quirolo, Reef Relief/Marine Photobank
· Before-and-after photos of bleached coral courtesy of Craig Quirolo, Reef Relief/Marine Photobank
· Photo of bleached coral in the Galapagos Islands courtesy of David Jacobsen-Fried/Marine Photobank
· Photo of dead coral reef in Taiwan courtesy of Konstantin Tkachenko/Marine Photobank
· Bleached coral video footage courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
· Thermometer and coral reef illustrations: Marc Lussier, STScI
Written by Vanessa Thomas
Designed by Marc Lussier
Music courtesy of Associated Production Music
An animated globe turns on a dark background.
Near the Coral Sea, a red circle around the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia.
Coral reefs are among the oldest and most diverse ecosystems on Earth.
Many coral reefs are thousands of years old.
Pie charts. Text, Reefs occupy less than 1% of the entire ocean floor. Yet, reefs provide a home for 25% of all marine species.
A wide variety of fish swim among the coral.
Icons of human beings. In a photo, two men fish from a small wooden boat. Text, Half a billion people also depend on coral reefs for food, their livelihood (from fishing or tourism), a natural defense from storms, and in some cases, the land they live on.
Florida Keys, USA
Coral reefs are the largest living structures on Earth and the only ones visible from space.