UNITED STATES—Have you ever watched Animal Planet? Most of us haven’t, but for those that have you’ll be surprised at the things that you learn. Just the other day, I stopped on Animal Planet and found myself thoroughly engrossed in a documentary that I was watching about the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It was quite fascinating to say the least. As much as I wanted to change the channel I found myself immersed in the documentary. To discover that theGreat Barrier Reefconsists of more than 2900 individual reefs and more than 900 islands was awesome.
I have always been amazed by the various bodies of waters that inhabit the planet. What is most fascinating is the fact that we truly have no idea what happens underneath the surface. Yes, we’ve heard stories and we’ve seen movies and television series depicting such phenomenon, but to actual see it first-hand in person is another tale.
There are so many species of animals that call this destination home, its hard to fathom most of us have no idea about it. For example, the saltwater crocodile has the ability to live near the reef and is considered one of the largest reptiles. It’s a predatory creature that will attack if it feels its territory has been infringed upon. There are varieties of sea turtles including the green sea turtle that calls the reef home. It was such a treat to watch video showing a batch of green sea turtles hatching from the beach and rushing to the ocean water before being consumed by prey that were well aware of their arrival from under the ground.
There are neat creatures like the pipefish that has been known to hide inside various creatures to ensure its survival. There are distinct species of sharks that still remain the king of the sea as they are predatory fiends that are persistent when it comes to locating a meal. The unknown has always been an alluring idea to our culture. We want to know about those things that we don’t, which is where tourists play a pivotal role.
Venturing into theGreat Barrier Reefis not with risk. Venturing into these waters can be as dangerous as it is exiting. Some may be surprised to discover that theGreat Barrier Reefis just like any other aspect in the world: its all about survival. The only difficulty is that it takes place in the water. There are creatures that have become quite adaptable to their environment. They are able to mimic their prey, some are able to isolate or create protective walls around their ‘homes’ to ensure intruders don’t go snooping around.
Day in and day out it’s a battle to survive these treacherous waters. Rather you’re a small creature or a large one, everyone has its weaknesses and one small mishap can cost you your life. How can I best say this, protect your surrounding at all cost, and never, ever for a second think you’re safe, as that can be a fatal mistake. The hunter can easily become the hunted.
The depths of theGreat Barrier Reefin some places go beyond 300 feet. Yes, 300 feet. Can you imagine what lies at the depths of those waters? I can only imagine. It’s always been a dream of mine to see a live octopus. It’s a creature that we only know about from movies or what we’ve been told, so too actually see the creature face-to-face would be a sight to say the least.
We as people have to become not only more educated, but more involved in the various ecosystems that we live. It’s not about catching a wild animal that no one has ever seen; it’s about respecting an environment that so many non-humans call home. Could you imagine if we had lions, tigers, bears and snakes running amok in the city?
It would not only be chaos, but those animals would be intruding on our environment; we have to view things the same way for theGreat Barrier Reefand other wild areas in the world. These areas are home to animals that we have no idea about, where we know nothing about their habitat or tactics for survival infringing upon that can be deadly not only for the human being, but the animal involved.
By Trevor Roberts