The Ultimate Great Barrier Reef Quiz
by Staff
The Great Barrier Reef, situated along the northeastern coast of Australia, is a marine ecosystem unrivaled by any other in the world. Renowned for its natural, unchanged beauty, it is visited by millions of tourists every year. Take this quiz to learn more about this natural aquatic wonderland.

How many islands are in the Great Barrier Reef?

  • 400
  • 600
  • 800

Who made the first recorded "discovery" of the Great Barrier Reef?

  • Captain James Cook
  • Captain William Bligh
  • Matthew Flinders

What does the Great Barrier Reef contain that makes it a popular site for millions of tourists every year?

  • spectacular coral reefs
  • magnificent whale populations
  • fantastic shipwreck artifacts

The structure of the current reef is thought to be growing on top of:

  • dormant volcanoes
  • the island of Atlantis
  • older reefs

What separates a barrier reef from coastal land?

  • coral ecosystems
  • a wide, deep lagoon
  • tiny islands

Like barrier reefs, _____ reefs also lie parallel to coastlines.

  • ribbon
  • patch
  • fringing

What do platform and patch reefs often grow on top of?

  • algae
  • underwater hills
  • shallow breakwaters

In which of the three major sections of the Great Barrier Reef are ribbon reefs in abundance?

  • Cairns/Central
  • Far Northern
  • Mackay/Capricorn

The more south you head from the Great Barrier Reef, the more the shelf narrows and the reefs disappear. Why doesn't coral grow in these parts?

  • because the low temperature is unsuited to coral growth
  • because there is too much water pollution in these areas
  • because it keeps getting eaten away by predatory schools of fish

Aside from reefs, the Great Barrier Reef is also host to low-lying coral or sand islands. What are they called?

  • narrows
  • mangroves
  • cays

There are 4,000 types in the Great Barrier Reef. What am I?

  • shrimp
  • whale or dolphin
  • mollusk

How big can giant clams be in the reef?

  • up to 2 feet (0.6 meters)
  • up to 4 feet (1.2 meters)
  • up to 8 feet (2.4 meters)

Is it true that some of the reef's species of sea snakes have stronger venom than the most poisonous land snakes?

  • Yes, even 20 times more poisonous.
  • No, land snakes are more poisonous.
  • Yes, they can be four times as poisonous.

What is one of the biggest threats to the coral colonies?

  • the manatee
  • the blue-ringed octopus
  • the crown-of-thorns starfish

How long does it take for a coral reef to regenerate after being destroyed by a crown-of-thorns starfish?

  • 10 years
  • 15 years
  • 20 years

Which Australian body is charged with protecting the Reef?

  • the Australian Society for the Protection of the Great Barrier Reef
  • the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
  • the Great Barrier Reef Association of Marine Life Protectors

What activities are permitted in the marine park's general use zones?

  • swimming and diving only
  • boating and fishing only
  • fishing, boating and swimming

Who is forbidden from entering scientific research zones?

  • the general public
  • scientists
  • neither of the above

About one third of the marine park is protected by a "no-take" clause. What does this mean?

  • One cannot take food, drink or animals to such an area.
  • One cannot take any pictures there.
  • One cannot take anything from there, shells and fish included.

What pharmaceutical use are scientists researching using the coral species in the reef?

  • They are trying to develop a sunscreen using a part of the coral.
  • They are trying to develop a cure for eczema using a part of the coral.
  • They are trying to develop a burns treatment using a part of the coral.