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Coral reefs

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Nature and flora

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres (1,400 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. It supports a wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981. CNN labelled it one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Queensland National Trust named it a state icon of Queensland.

 
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Society and lifestyle, Nature and flora, Geography

Kingman Reef

Kingman Reef is a largely submerged, uninhabited triangular shaped reef, 9.5 nautical miles east-west and 5 nmi (9 km) north-south, located in the North Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway between the Hawaiian Islands and American Samoa at 6°23′N 162°25′W. It is the northernmost of the Northern Line Islands and lies 36 nautical miles (67 km) northwest of the next closest island, and 930 nautical miles (1,720 km) south of Honolulu.

 
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Nature and flora

Florida Reef

The Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States. It is the third largest coral barrier reef system in the world. It lies a few miles seaward of the Florida Keys, is about 4 miles wide and extends 270 km (170 mi) from Fowey Rocks just east of Soldier Key to just south of the Marquesas Keys. The barrier reef tract forms a great arc, concentric with the Florida Keys, with the northern end, in Biscayne National Park, oriented north-south and the western end, south of the Marquesas Keys, oriented east-west. The rest of the reef outside Biscayne National Park lies within John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Isolated coral patch reefs occur northward from Biscayne National Park as far as Stuart, in Martin County. Coral reefs are also found in Dry Tortugas National Park west of the Marquesas Keys. There are more than 6,000 individual reefs in the system. The reefs are 5,000 to 7,000 years old, having developed since sea levels rose following the Wisconsinan glaciation.

 
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Nature and flora

Amazon Reef

The Amazon Reef forms an extensive system composed of corals, sponges and rhodoliths. Its features and the inhospitable region make this ecosystem unique.

 
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Nature and flora, Geography

Low island

A low island is, in geology, an island of coral origin. The term applies whether the island was formed as a result of sedimentation upon a coral reef or of the uplifting of such islands. The term is used to distinguish such islands from high islands, whose origins are volcanic.

 
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Nature and flora

Molasses Reef

Molasses Reef is a coral reef located within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. It lies to the southeast of Key Largo, within the Key Largo Existing Management Area, which is immediately to the east of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. This reef is within a Sanctuary Preservation Area (SPA).

 
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Nature and flora

Filippo Reef

Filippo Reef is a reef that is asserted to be in the Pacific Ocean at 05°30′S 151°50′W, 450 kilometres (280 mi) east of Starbuck Island in the Line Islands. The reef was reported by the master of the Italian barque Filippo as having been seen on 28 June 1886. From an unidentified report of breakers dated 1926, it was estimated to have a water depth of only 0.6 to 0.9 metres, and appeared to be about 1.6 kilometres (1.0 mi) long northwest to southeast, and less in width.

 
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Nature and flora

Looe Key

Looe Key is a coral reef located within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. It lies to the south of Big Pine Key. This reef is within a Sanctuary Preservation Area (SPA). Part of Looe Key is designated as "Research Only," an area which protects some of the patch reefs landward of the main reef.

 
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Nature and flora

Dry Rocks

Dry Rocks is a coral reef located within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. It lies to the east of Key Largo, within the Key Largo Existing Management Area, which is immediately to the east of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. The reef lies within a Sanctuary Preservation Area (SPA). It is close to Grecian Rocks and The Elbow.

 
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Nature and flora

Grecian Rocks (reef)

Grecian Rocks is a coral reef located within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. It lies to the east of Key Largo, within the Key Largo Existing Management Area, which is immediately to the east of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. This reef is within a Sanctuary Preservation Area (SPA).

 
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Nature and flora

Sand Key (reef)

Sand Key is a coral reef located within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. It lies to the southwest of Key West, within the Key West National Wildlife Refuge. This reef is within a Sanctuary Preservation Area (SPA).

 
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Nature and flora

Great Astrolabe Reef

The Great Astrolabe Reef is in Fiji and surrounds the fourth largest island, Kadavu Island, which is approximately 65 km in length. Kadavu Island is approximately 100 km south of Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji.

 
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Nature and flora

The Elbow (reef)

The Elbow is a coral reef located within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. It lies to the east of Key Largo, within the Key Largo Existing Management Area, which is immediately to the east of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. This reef is within a Sanctuary Preservation Area (SPA). The Elbow is southwest Carysfort and east of Dry Rocks reefs.

 
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Nature and flora

Eastern Dry Rocks

Eastern Dry Rocks is a coral reef located within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. It lies to the southwest of Key West, within the Key West National Wildlife Refuge. This reef is within a Sanctuary Preservation Area (SPA).

 
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Nature and flora

Pulley Ridge

Pulley Ridge is a mesophotic coral reef system off the shores of the continental United States. The reef rests on sunken barrier islands and lies 100 miles west of the Tortugas Ecological Reserve and stretches north about 60 miles at depths ranging from 60–80 meters. Pulley Ridge was originally discovered in 1950 during a dredging operation conducted by an academic group from Texas. While well known to fishermen, this remarkable habitat remained undiscovered by scientists until 1999 when the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and graduate students from the University of South Florida happened upon it. This reef system, like other mesophotic ecosystems, is inhabited by photosynthesizing corals and algae that are adapted to low-light environments. It is habitat for numerous species of bottom fish including Epinephelus morio spawning area.