Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Travel Photo of the Day: Sandbar, Great Barrier Reef, Australia


I took this photo of a sandbar while snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in January 2004. The contrast between the brilliant white sand of the beach and the deep turquoise of the ocean was startling. The sand bars serve as resting places for seabirds and snorkelers alike. The reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, is comprised of over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays. It is the largest reef system in the world,  stretching over 2,600 kilometers (1,600 miles) and is more than 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 square miles) in total size.

The reef is home to some of the largest marine life populations in the world: 30 species of whales, porpoises and dolphins; 500 species of algae; 200 species of birds; 6 species of sea turtles; 14 species of sea snakes; 1,500 species of fish; 5,000 species of mollusks; 400 species of coral; 500 species of seaweed.  

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