Did you know that more wildlife lives around coral reefs than in any other part of the ocean? Find out more about these important ecosystems in our coral reef facts…

What are coral reefs?

When you look at a coral reef, you might think that you are seeing a group of colourful rocks. But don’t be mistaken! Reefs are actually made out of living creatures called coral.

Where are coral reefs found?

Coral reefs can be found all over the world! However, most coral reefs grow in shallow, clean ocean waters on either side of the Equator, because they need sunlight and warm temperatures all year to survive.

Some famous coral reefs include the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Amazon Reef in Brazil and French Guiana, the Tubbataha Reef in the Philippines and the Miami Terrace Reef in the United States.

The “Heart Reef”, which forms part of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
  • Quick facts about coral reefs…
  • – Coral have growth rings, just like trees!
  • – The first coral reefs formed on Earth 240 million years ago. That’s before the dinosaurs were alive!
  • – Most coral reefs today are between 5,000 and 10,000 years old.
  • – There are more than 800 different types of hard coral around the world.
  • – The Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef system on Earth. You can even see it from space!

Life in coral reefs

Lots of different types of sea creatures call coral reefs their home – giant clams, starfish, sea turtles, seahorses, eels, cuttlefish and many, many more. The reefs provide this diverse range of animals with everything they need, including food and shelter.

A lot of animals who live on the reef camouflage themselves to blend amongst the coral, either to stay safe from other animals or to hide as they hunt.

Plants also live on reefs. Algae live inside soft coral, using sunlight to provide food and help the coral grow. In other areas, sea grass provides food for sea animals like dugongs and turtles.

Why are coral reefs endangered?

The biggest threats to coral reefs are pollution spilling into the oceans, damage from ships and boats, and climate change, which makes the water warmer and more acidic.

Pollution is a big threat to all sea wildlife, including coral reefs.

Save our coral reefs!

To save our coral reefs, many people are working hard to clean up the pollution on land and in the sea. Some countries have even protected their coral reefs.

You can help save coral reefs too, by following some simple tips:

Conserve your water use, by turning off taps when you brush your teeth!

– If you’re lucky enough to go diving, look at the coral – but don’t touch it! Touching coral can disturb it, and sometimes kill it.

Spread the word and tell your friends about how they can help save the planet!

All images: Pixabay

Did you enjoy reading our coral reef facts? Let us know by leaving a comment below!




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  • T

    Thank you for sharing. Let's save the planet!!

  • this is so cool

  • Quinn

    I have learned a lot thank you!

  • Quinn

    Save the sea !


    So cool!

  • Debra

    wwwwwwwwwwwhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaattttttttttttttt this is amazing

  • We could go to the beach or we could go to coral reefs

  • this is so good

  • Lola

    Save Earth!

  • yaku


  • sannsannojisann

    that was good

  • Anayahope

    I learned so much bout coral reefs and how to save them. Tysm for making this!

  • megan

    i love looking about coral reef

  • Ashley

    WOW I learned so much bout coral reefs!! Tysm for making this!

  • Gaige

    I will donate to team seas it’s sad to see dead animals fish, turtles , and more

  • Blake


  • Bob


  • Lola

    Lets go the information¡¡¡¡

  • marilu

    I enjoyed reading it , it was fun and interesting .


    LOVE IT!

  • Libby

    WOW!! I never knew they were so interesting creatures

  • Lily A

    We should look after our reefs more!

  • Summer

    i will do that

  • laina

    i think that that was an amazing topic, i used this site for my info writing!it helped me alot. thank you!-laina

  • wow i love it it helps me very much

  • casey

    I love learning about the oceans and coral reefs! Your website as some good facts.

  • Soubhagya

    Cool this really helps

  • Haley t

    Coral reefs are living creatures.

  • wylieisd

    Coral. Reefs. Are. Awsome!!!

  • i love it

  • Harrison

    I hope climate change will stop in the ocean .

  • j

    awesome website

  • Mr beast

    go to team seas save the ocean

  • Toby.burton

    this was very interesting ❤️ i will tell my friends and i hope the coral will survive

  • Golden_end

    seas is life no sea all will be sad

  • Anonymous

    I love the ocean a lot i really hope the coral reefs stay alive

  • Samanvita

    WOW! There are so many creatures in the Great Barrier Reef!

  • lexie!

    this website really help with my home work! this website is amazing!

  • Fjfmvjgjgjjv

    I love the ocean

  • Jaela

    I love the ocean

  • Anynomous

    I have lots of care for the ocean and so I really liked this text

  • girl

    This website is awesome! I totally recomend using it!!

  • me

    I found it really helpful . Thanks natgeo for this amazing website it really helped me for my Home work.

  • summer

    so nice i loved this

  • jessia

    my teacher gave this to me for my online and it really help thanks

  • Jaeda

    This is very helpful for my writing

  • Amanee

    This is the best result I've ever seen so far!!!:)

  • londen

    helped so much

  • zach

    this helped so much on my homework.

  • i love this

  • Ben

    This really helps! Natgeo Kids really is the best! Now I know some more stuff, so I highly recommend this website.

  • Pineapple

    Helps a lot!

  • Me

    This is the best science ever. This help me so much in homework

  • ocean lover

    I love ocean related things so this is inspiring to help save oceans

  • Jack

    So much help on homework

  • hello


  • Me


  • Anir

    I like this article. We should protect our planet

  • gal


  • save the reef!!!

  • Kitkat

    Let’s all help save our coral reefs!!! #coral reef

  • Red panda

    Love this this helps me a lot

  • eeeee


  • Me

    love this

  • PartyPNda

    SAVE CORAL REEF! There are so many cool facts about coral reef like there are over 800 types of it!

  • Jow

    I love it

  • sofibrasz02

    great work

  • skidddies13

    I can't believe that you can see the Great Barrier Reef from out of space!!!!!!!!

  • CaseyDodd

    Please save the coral reefs.

  • Save coral

  • Brooklyn

    thanks for saving the coral reefs.

  • Charlie

    Save the coral reef!!!


  • SillyMan49

    Let's save our Coral reefs!!! #coral Reefs

  • derpyshark

    very interesting.

  • Bubbles2021

    Hoi let’s save our planet baiiiiii

  • Cool i like ocean related stuff

  • ebejar.student

    Lukily I do all of those things!

  • professer poopypants

    safe the coral reefs

  • beautyful i love it

  • Georgia

    me and my friends will try to help the coral reefs

  • cool

  • Tiger

    i will try to be better at helping the planet and saving coral reefs

  • patty


  • aadhya.durishety


  • eshaal

    this is amazing i never new this much about coral reefs i will tell my friends all about it

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