An aerial view of Heart Reef, a small part of the Great Barrier Reef, off Queensland, Australia.
The Great Barrier Reef has been declared dead by scientists at 25
million years old — bringing an end to the colorful life of the world’s
largest single structure of living organisms. The incredible Coral Sea wilderness, which stretches for roughly
1,400 miles over an area of roughly 133,00 square miles, has finally
succumbed to bleaching. The icon of the natural world is bigger than the whole of the United
Kingdom and is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands. It is home to 1,625 species of fish, 3,000 mollusks, and 30 different types of whales and dolphins. The reef lies off the coast of Queensland in Australia and can be seen from outer space. Leading environmentalist writer Rowan Jacobsen declared the incredible structure dead, and wrote: “The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. “It was 25 million years old.”