Corals aren’t just colorful "rocks". They’re a colony of tiny animals made of thousands of polyps, which over the year secrete skeletons of calcium carbonate and form reefs system. Corals are related to jelly fish and sea anemone, but unlike them corals are stationary.
The reef systems are the most diversified ecosystem. Though only occupying 0.1% of ocean floor, they’re supporting approximately 25% of the marine life. Corals are nursery of the sea.
But, they are in trouble – they’re sensitive to water temperature; global warming & climate change are a huge threat as well as ocean acidification and commercial over fishing. The reefs in the Pacific are dying so much faster than before. They’re asking for us to stop killing them.
All hope is not lost!
“The best time to protect a reef was 50 years ago, but the second-best time is right now,” said Kristen Marhaver in her recent TED. In 2010 corals in the Caribbean bleached, but few years later the corals are healthy again. If few polyps survive, the corals can regrow it just takes a very long time. If us, human can more stresses off them locally – things like pollutions, overfishing, etc., it will really help them fight back. You can see her full talk here.