The ocean attracts us all. There is nothing more other-worldly than to sit on a moonlit beach and to stare out at the twin alien worlds of space and ocean. Most of us live out our lives on land, and only ever occasionally cross, or visit the edges of those vast alien, watery places we think of as separate and other to us. But in truth, our world is an ocean world, and we are just a small part of it.
Within this vast hidden world today’s coral reefs have existed for some 25 million years, a thousand times longer than modern humans. Coral reefs cover less than 1% of the ocean floor but this fact belies their global significance. For coral reefs, in all their intricate and beautiful diversity are the nurseries of the ocean. It has been estimated that about 25% of the ocean's creatures depend directly or indirectly on healthy coral reefs. Furthermore, over