In the wake of the shocking news of the Great Barrier Reef's 'death' that took the internet by storm, scientists have clarified that the world's largest coral reef is not dead but very very sick.
Rowan Jacobsen, who declared the 400-mile-long Great Barrier Reef dead in an obituary on the website Outside Online, is not entirely true.
Experts argue that what has actually happened is a massive bleaching event but it is too soon to declare the reef as dead. The bleaching, no doubt, puts the coral ecosystem on the verge of extinction, but scientists believe that corals can recover from the brink of death.
Bleaching is a method which allows the coral to expel the algae (zooxanthellae), living in a symbiotic relation, from their tissues. Bleaching happens when the water temperature rises and turns the coral completely white.
These algae provide food to the corals in exchange of a suitable habitat. So if the corals remain without the algae they will starve to death. But it cannot also harbour the algae until and unless the sea water temperature dips as hot water makes the algae chemically destructive to the coral.
IBTimes bring you the best pictures of the Great Barrier Reef that will help you realise what we are just about to lose.