(CNN) – The Great Barrier Reef is “born” on its annual coral reef, creating a cocoon of color at the Australian landmark.
Scientists working under the waves say they witnessed the coral simultaneously releasing sperm and eggs en masse overnight Tuesday on Cairns Beach, Queensland, which they consider a positive sign that rocks have been able to regenerate despite environmental threats.
“Nothing makes people happier than new life – and coral spawning is the world’s greatest resource,” said Gareth Phillips, an Australian marine biologist who has been at the forefront of coral reefs this year through Queensland tourism and events.
Phillips and his team of marine biologists, divers, students and photographers from the Reef Teach Research Center dive to the bottom of the ocean to capture coral reefs on Cairns Beach, Queensland. Over the next couple of days, they go to other reef sites to film and monitor.
Coral reef spawning is an annual event on the Great Barrier Reef.
Gabriel Guzman / Calypso Productions
Phillips called this year ‘s ultimate treasure hunt a trail of coral reefs.
“I’ve seen corals all come out at once, but this time different species appeared one after the other in waves. The conditions were magical with water and beautiful light like glass coming from the moon,” he said. Said.
Phillips said his team swam in search of coral on the edge of the egg.
“Once we found a ripe coral, we saw that each colony took about 30 seconds to complete its spawning. It was the final treasure hunt … it was so exciting, we caught the captain and lowered him into the water.”
These photos were taken in 2021 while laying coral on the Flynn Reef off Cairns Beach in Queensland, Australia.
Gareth Phillips / Reef Teach
The Great Barrier Reef Coral Reef is an integrated annual effort – for most of the year the coral splits and splits, but once a year the coral simultaneously releases sperm and egg bundles into the ocean.
“Every coral worm moves until it lands and settles at the bottom of the ocean,” Phillips said. “Germination takes place over several days, with different species laying eggs on different nights.”
Annual coral spawning usually takes place from October to November, but times vary due to factors such as water temperature and currents. The Great Barrier Reef, 2,300 km (1,429 mi) long, varies in length and width from day to day.
Marine biologist Gareth Phillips said conditions this year were “magical”.
Gareth Phillips / Reef Teach
A sign of hope
Phillips said he was “delighted” to see the birth of the rocks, which coincided with Australia’s decision to begin easing some of the world’s toughest Govt travel restrictions.
“This is a strong demonstration that its ecological functions have remained intact since the recovery phase of more than 18 months,” he said.
“Rocks have gone through its own problems like all of us, but it can still respond – it gives us hope. I think we should all focus on success when we get out of the plague.”
Best Photo courtesy Gareth Phillips / Reef Teach
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