back to top

18 Stunning Pictures Of The Great Barrier Reef That Prove It Looks As Good As It Did 50 Years Ago

All that coral bleaching is really chic.

Posted on

After all the fuss of UNESCO nearly putting the Great Barrier Reef on its World Heritage In Danger list, it's come as a huge relief to everyone that media baron Rupert Murdoch has had a squiz at the reef and declared it perfectly fine:

To the naked eye reef looks fully as good as it did 50 years ago.

2. But people who have been taking a closer look are worried about studies like this one from the Australian Institute of Marine Studies that found coral cover has been reduced to half of what it was in the '80s. They'll be glad to hear the good news!

Australian Institute For Marine / PR IMAGE

Old dead plate corals on the first flank of Beaver Cay reef after damage was caused by Cyclone Hamish.

Advertisement

3. Other so-called scientists (because they are scientists and that is what they are called) thought that damage from cyclones has contributed to the decline of the reef.

Gbrmpa / PR IMAGE

Two areas of Bramble Reef showing differing damage after Cyclone Yasi in 2011.

5. Scientists have even noticed an increase in cyclones that crossed the reef. There were nine category three cyclones between 2004 and 2015, compared to zero between 1970 and 2003.

bom.gov.au

And even though tropical cyclones are thought to cause 48% of all coral loss, Rupert Murdoch says he's seen no damage whatsoever! Phew.

6. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority will be relieved, especially since their last report found "the overall outlook for the Great Barrier Reef is poor, has worsened since 2009 and is expected to further deteriorate in the future."

7. Even more worrywarts, like Terry Hughes from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, have expressed concerns that coral is unable to recover until port activity and pollution is reduced.

Australian Institute For Marine Science / PR IMAGE

Crown of thorns starfish and cyclone damage on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, 2012.

Advertisement

9. And in a way, haven't we all been starfish-shaming? Who is to say that the swarms of spiny starfish reducing ancient structures to a white skeleton aren't as beautiful as the coral themselves?

11. The Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report says that "gradual ocean acidification will increasingly restrict coral growth and survival", but let's face it, how much coral do we really need? We looked up this picture of coral on the internet in like, 5 seconds.

Advertisement

13. Our top scientists have been wringing their hands about the reef for nothing! Just look at this stunning coral, in all the shades of brown you can imagine!

Australian Institute For Marine Science / PR IMAGE

MacDonald reef after cyclone damage on the Great Barrier Reef in 2012.

Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Alex Lee at alexandra.lee@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.