Great Barrier Reef Obituary Goes Viral
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Great Barrier Reef Obituary Goes Viral

A false article went viral claiming the vast reef is dead.

42
Great Barrier Reef Obituary Goes Viral
Business Insider

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is not dead. I repeat, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is not dead. There is a significant difference between the two words dead and dying. Let this be clear that there is still hope in saving this magnificent home to hundreds of species of coral, colorful fish and other aquatic organisms.

An online "obituary" style article recently published by Outside Magazine went viral describing how the Great Barrier Reef is dead.

"The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old."

It is not a question that there has been a detrimental impact on the massive reef over the past several years. Aspects of coral bleaching, fishing, mining, and burning fossil fuels have all played a role in the declining life of the reef. Coral bleaching being the most vital impact is when coral is put under extreme changes from temperature, light or nutrients. This causes the coral to release a symbiotic algae that causes them to turn white, hence bleaching.

On the left is healthy and lush coral. On the right is coral effected by bleaching.

The release of this obituary blew up on social media spurring memes, arguments and disbelief from social media users and scientists.The Huffington Post got in touch with Russel Brainard, chief of the Coral Reef Ecosystem Program at NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center. He believed that the article was meant to highlight the urgency of the situation. Although, to someone who are not well knowledgeable about the real issues and current state of the reef took this as a serious article that in fact it was dead.

Brainard told Huffington Post the recent bleaching event was a “severe blow” that resulted in serious mortality. Still, “we’re very far from an obituary,” he said. His main concern was that these overstatements will begin to ripple through peoples lives and assume that there is no hope left to saving the reef. In the Outside Magazine obituary, there is no factual statements that support their headline.

After reading the article, it is over dramatized to the current issues that are on hand. The message conveyed and placed upon many readers is that there is no hope left in salvaging the coral reef. There is HOPE. It is not all dead. Taking action to start relieving the aquatic ecosystem and continue to be vocal about the effect global warming has is the message that should be conveyed.

One thing I noticed on social media, especially on Twitter is how people responded to this article and began to incorporate the seriousness of the issue into jokes.

These parody accounts may be funny sometimes, but also may convey unnecessary messages. I know they mean no harm when they tweet, only trying to gain followers and page traffic. However, sometimes instead of turning a serious misconceived issue into a joke is unfitting. Why not post about a charity, volunteer work, solutions, or better yet the truth about what is actually happening instead of some petty, uncreative sentence.

People are allowed to their opinions and thoughts taken away from the article. Taken from me, if action is taken sooner than later, that obituary won't have to become a reality.


The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef ecosystem and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It covers more than 300,000 square kilometers and is home to more than 3,000 reefs, 600 islands, and 300 coral cays.

To learn more on how you can contribute to saving the coral reefs, visit http://coral.org/ home of the Coral Reef Alliance. The website explains what they do, what YOU can do and accept donations to their mission to save the coral reefs!


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Politics and Activism

One Indictment, Three Charges, And No Justice For Breonna Taylor

We can't settle for this decision or a system that is fundamentally broken and unequal.

24

On March 13, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was fatally shot in her apartment by police who were executing a "no-knock" warrant. Since then, there have been rallying efforts both in the streets and on social media demanding justice for Taylor and keeping her name known.

Keep Reading... Show less

I was so excited to vote in my local primary election in August. I eagerly researched my local candidates, combed the newspaper for profiles and policy positions, and shared infographics on Insta about voting deadlines. I considered myself a keen voter.

Keep Reading... Show less

Nothing! There is no reason to feel guilty about food and nourishing your body. It's time to make peace with food and stop focusing on the "good" or "bad," "right" or "wrong" because food does not have power over you.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down With An Endocrinologist To Ask All My Questions About Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

There are so many moving parts of hormonal health, so I went to an expert.

3059
Anjanette Tan

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an autoimmune disease that impacts approximately 1 in 10 women. Any woman who has PCOS can attest to the fact that no two cases are the same — there are so many aspects of hormonal health that can impact a woman's reproductive health! For many, PCOS is a trial and error condition, with many doctors' appointments depending on the stage of life the woman is in.

This week I sat down with Dr. Anjanette Tan to get the expert opinion on all my PCOS questions. Dr. Tan is a board-certified endocrinology who's worked in private practices since 2004. She currently works at the Diabetes and Thyroid Center of Fort Worth, one of the largest all-endocrine practices in the area, where she is the managing partner and head of clinical research.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Since I can remember, I've always been a light sleeper, with the quietest sounds waking me up, and I regularly wake up with the sun.

- While talking to a gynecologist friend of mine, she mentioned the importance of using an eye mask for quality sleep, which regulates hormonal levels.

- I was serendipitously sent the Crane & Canopy Silk Sleep Mask almost right after that conversation and was honestly reluctant to try it after testing other sleep masks that felt uncomfortable and irritated my skin.

- This sleep mask was extremely comfortable, and for the first time in nearly a decade, I slept in far past when I usually do on the weekends and woke up feeling more refreshed than I can remember — I've worn it nearly every night since then.

The older I get, it seems that sleep becomes an increasingly important topic of conversation amongst my friends and me. Yes, of course we complain about how tired we always are, but the pattern seemed to be a lack of sleep on the weekdays followed by late nights and sleeping in on the weekends without any solution.

Keep Reading... Show less

As college students, sometimes life can be overwhelming. Four tests in a week and you only passed one of them? I feel that. Days like that, you just need time for yourself. A time where you're nice to yourself and put your own self-care before anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

The Smile Project Just Launched An Ambassador Program, And I Can't Wait To Get Started

Looking to shift your perspective, be happier, or just get involved in something truly amazing? Look no further.

691

The Smile Project is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading happiness, founded by Elizabeth Buechele. It all started on a random day in the fall of her senior year. She was driving home from school when this thought crossed her mind: "Day 1: Happiness is…those perfect car rides where the radio just plays all the right songs."

Keep Reading... Show less

I'll never forget the day that someone told me these words: "Madison, I think you're a good friend to everyone but yourself." I stood there completely in awe of that statement. Before that day, I never really thought about being a friend to myself, and at the time, I didn't really know what it meant. Now, I realize that you can't fully be there for other people unless you're there for yourself, too. You can't show up for others until you're willing to show up for yourself.

Here are five things everyone should learn in order to be a better friend to themselves. These steps are hard, but they're so worth it.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's no secret that social media can be harmful to our mental health. The barrage of heavily edited photos of Instagram models that we see every day only fuels our insecurities. There is a good side to social media, though. It allows us to keep up with friends and family across the globe. Plus, it provides a platform for mental health experts. Listed below are five therapists on Instagram who will fill your feed with motivational quotes and positive infographics.

Keep Reading... Show less
Netflix

Last week, Netflix released its original film "The Devil All the Time," based on the 2011 novel of the same name. Directed by Antonio Campos, the film boasts an all-star cast including Bill Skarsgard, Robert Pattinson, Riley Keough, and Tom Holland.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments