The Great Barrier Reef – A Whole New World

From the boat you can just make out where the Great Barrier Reef lays under the sea

As I dipped my head underwater for the first time I was truly stunned at the complexity of the new, underwater, world that opened up in front of me. 

Despite the rocky seas, the water above the bommies (reef pillars) of the Great Barrier Reef was clear and turquoise as I floated above and gazed down, taking a voyeuristic view over this whole new universe below.

An amazing underwater world of so many colours. Photo credit smh.com.au

A whole underwater eco system, a colourful, diverse world  of corals and fish in all shapes, sizes and colours lay below me. I watched mesmerised as fish busied themselves burying their heads into the coral, feeding, swimming around and chasing each other darting through the coral gardens.

Every direction that you looked discovered a different plant, coral or fish. Each time a wonderous and different shape, size, colour or texture. 

Under the rocky seas is a whole, new, surreal underwater world

As I submerged my head under the world I knew seemed to disappear, the sounds of the wind and the choppy waves changed into a surreal deep, relaxing, serene stillness and silence as the ocean below me opened up as I gazed through the shelfs and gaps in the coral to the dark, murky, deeper waters further below. 

The dazzling coral gardens and marine wonderland created a whole new magical blue world, so alien from my own, so mysterious and captivating. Serene and also completely exhilarating, a calm world yet full of frantic activity. 

The reef is full of all kinds of life and is both calming and exhilarating to explore

Large brightly coloured, neon blue, pink and yellow fish floated by seemingly unaware and unphased by my presence while a flurry of small black and white fish in large shoals flitted and zipped past, a frenzy of tiny neon blue fish darted in and out of the coral and orange and white clownfish (nemo fish) flitter through the anemones.

Fish come in a unbelievable array of bright colours. This is a striped surgeon fish. Photo credit. vacationsidea.com

Just below me in the deeper, darker waters a reef shark sent a shiver down my spine as it slithered away beneath me as a frenzy of divers tried to follow its path. 

A reef shark swims calmly below

It’s no secret that the UNESCO heritage listed Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest natural coral reef and the world’s biggest structure made by living organisms. At over 2000km long it’s an incredible underwater marine wonderland with one of the most biodiverse eco systems in the world. It consists of 2,900 individual reefs with thousands of species of fish, corals, sponges and molluses. 

Endagered mammals like turtles are amazing to see, unfortunately I didn’t see any turtles on my trip. Photo credit about-australia.org

The reef is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world and is a haven for many endangered sea mammals like turtles, sharks, whales, dolphins and dugongs (sea cows) but nothing can quite prepare you for the amazement and exhilaration of your first glimpse of this underwater kingdom with your own eyes.

 It completely captivated, enthralled and amazed me with the diversity and colour. The Great Barrier Reef left me feeling awe inspired at the beauty, complexity and serenity of nature and humbled by the very small part that I play in the rich tapestry of life and the universe.

The majesty and diversity of the Great Barrier Reef is a truly awe inspiring thing to experience.

2 Comments

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