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Coral Reef

Myth vs Reality: What Corals Are

 This short video addresses the misconception that corals are fossils.

Credits

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

Transcript

(SPEECH)
[MUSIC PLAYING]
 
(DESCRIPTION)
Text, Myth Versus Reality. On a chart, the left-hand side is labeled Myth and the right-hand side is labeled Reality. Above the Myth column, an illustration of sea monsters attacking a ship. Above the Reality column, a satellite image of a body of water. Text in the Myth column, Corals are fossilized plants.
 
Text in the Reality column, Corals are small animals related to jellyfish. Each coral animal is called a polyp, and thousands of polyps form a colony. Hard corals extract calcium from seawater and use it to create a hardened structure for protection and growth. These tiny skeletons accumulate over thousands of years to form coral reefs.