Recent headlines surrounding the Great Barrier Reef—a 133,000-square-mile swatch of individual reefs off Queensland, Australia—have been as wide-ranging as the reef itself. “The Great Barrier Reef Is Now Terminal,” “Great Barrier Reef: Too Big To Fail,” “Can Great Barrier Reef be Revived?” “Great Barrier Reef: Reports of Demise Exaggerated Claim Locals.”
While scientists debate the current state of the reef’s health, one thing is certain: Warming ocean temperatures have led to high levels of coral bleaching (expelling of algae that jeopardizes the health of coral). While much work is being done to try to preserve this national treasure, we advise lovers of the undersea world to go now. From sea turtles and clownfish, to sharks and whales, if you love underwater life experience this soon, before it’s too late. —D.H.