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The largest coral reef system in the world, the Great Barrier Reef, is located in the Coral Sea off the east coast of Queensland in northeast Australia, and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981. As coral is a living organism, it has been said that the Great Barrier Reef is the single largest organism in the world, although others argue coral is merely a collection of millions of small organisms. As a result, there have been some suggestions that the Great Barrier Reef could more appropriately be named the Great Barrier Reef Systems.

The Great Barrier Reef is believed to have started growing on top of an older platform about 18,000 years ago, at which time the sea level was about 330 ...

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