What is an Underwater Reef?


View this amazing video to understand more about what is an underwater reef, and how it impacts the marine life in its specific area. Explore beautiful imagery of fishes and sea life that seem to flow with majestic grace.

What is an Underwater Reef?

natural underwater reef photo

Underwater reefs are one of the major elements necessary for sea life and marine habitat to grow and strive. A reef can come in many forms, shapes and sizes.

Oceanographers study reefs of all types to better understand how they impact our oceans and our world.

It is amazing how nature provides habitat for fish, sharks, porpoise, whales, shellfish, crabs and other marine creatures.

These are fundamental necessities that the seas must have in order to stay healthy. It is also interesting how reef habitat can come from many different sources.

When you think of a place for sea life to grow, do you first think of a coral reef or other type of natural bottom of the sea floor? Maybe so, but their are also many other things that help sea creatures grow and thrive.

natural underwater reef formation photo

Types of Underwater Reefs

Besides natural formations, other types of reefs include shipwrecks, artificial reefs, mangroves, bays, rivers and smaller bodies of water. Virtually any kind of structure in our oceans and seas can act as a reef.

The food chain depends upon the proper balance of many forms of natural and artificial marine habitat.

  1. Coral Reefs

underwater coral reef photo
Photo by USFWS Pacific

An underwater coral reef is a diverse marine ecosystem that is dominated and held firm by corals formed by calcium carbonate secretions. Colonies of tiny animal organisms work in mass to slowly grow into a reef structure.

Unfortunately, while it takes many years for a coral reef to grow, it can be destroyed in a short period of time by outside forces, such as disease, invasive species and humans.

• Pictures of sharks

The Coral Reef

This is awesome underwater footage that showcases a wonderful looking coral reef in Cozumel, Mexico. Watch this cool video and you will see hundreds of fish. See how many you can identify. Be on the look out for triggerfish, barracuda, snappers, filefish, angelfish, toadfish, blue line grants, cowfish, sharks, sea turtle, schoolmasters, drumfish and many more.

2. Artificial Reefs

An artificial reef, by definition, is any underwater structure made by humans. The list of possibilities is large indeed. When you think about it. Any shipwreck, intentional or unintentional, is an artificial reef. Typically, any man-made structure that is built and placed on the seafloor, that supports the growth of marine life.

First, barnacles, corals, oysters and other plants will form on these structures. Next, small fishes will use these habitats to hide and feed. Ultimately, larger fish and predator fish will stop by to feed and hang out as well. It is an ongoing cycle.

Marine Conservation of Reefs

It is important that man-kind practice good conservation efforts. So that the reef systems and reefs around the world stay healthy.

reef photo

This ensures a sustainable source of seafood as well as rich environments for fishermen, divers and nature lovers. Healthy oceans benefits us all.