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On a June evening in 1770, British explorer, Captain James Cook heard the irritable screeching of wood against stone. Little did he know , he had only discovered the Great Barrier Reef! Off the coast of Queensland, Australia in the Coral Sea, the GBR is the world's largest reef system, it may also be seen from space! It's roughly 35 million hectares, which equals roughly 70 million soccer fields. The GBR hosts an extremely diverse array of marine life from mollusks to fish into shore and sea birds. Attracting roughly 2 million people per year, the GBR generates AU$4-5 billion annually. A coral reef creates submerged when tens of thousands of tiny animals, called polyps, set a colony. How did this set of reefs behave as the wonderful Barrier Reef? "On a June evening of 1770, Captain James Cook discovered the screech of wood from stone" (ngm.nationalgeographic.com). He later realized that he had just discovered the fantastic Barrier Reef. Cook and his team had been exploring the waters offshore of what is now Queensland, Australia when the H.M.S. Endeavour became trapped in the labyrinth of coral. Not too far under the surface, rough, spiky towers of coral tore into the ship's frame and held the boat quickly(ngm.nationalgeographic.com). As timbers splintered and the sea poured in, the crew arrived on deck "with countenances which satisfactorily expressed the horrors of our situation," Cook afterwards wrote in his diary. The captain and crew hardly made it into a river mouth in which they rehabilitated the boat. A couple of decades after Cook's experience with the reef, English cartographer Matthew Flinders-who had an accident or 2 while "threading the needle" one of the reefs-gave the massive body its own title, motivated by its size. The Great Barrie...