Is That an Alien!? Or an Earthling on the Verge of Extinction?Matthew M. Sullivan
Things aren’t looking good for our oceans’ coral reefs. Coral disease is causing mass die-offs in the Atlantic, humans are intentionally disrupting coral ecosystems in the Pacific, and ocean acidification (which is largely caused by atmospheric carbon dioxide) is harming coral reefs around the world.
While coral may appear to some as a kind of inanimate growth or structure at the bottom of the ocean, it’s actually a living, breathing organism — one that’s essential to countless oceanic ecosystems.
Get a glimpse at life in the coral reefs:
There’s still hope to save our coral reefs. An industrial design student in Australia, for instance, has developed a system for creating artificial coral habitats out of LEGO-like building blocks, and and researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology have proposed modifying coral DNA to help them survive in our increasingly acidic oceans.
Want to do your part to save coral?
Well good, because you can!