Did you know

30 Apr 2024

Did you know? Coral

Corals are invertebrate animals belonging to a large group of colourful and fascinating animals called Cnidaria. Corals are generally classified as either “hard coral” or “soft coral”. There are around 800 known species of hard coral, also known as the ‘reef building’ corals. Soft corals, which include sea fans, sea feathers and sea whips, don’t have the rock-like calcareous skeleton like the others, instead, they grow wood-like cores for support and fleshy rinds for protection.

Many people think Cyprus has no corals. Yet we do have coral reefs in shallow as well as deep waters around the island, especially in the Paphos area. However, if climate change and coastal development continue unabated, they are under extreme threat from climate change as well as mass tourism, the building of new hotels and marinas, and agricultural run-off. Soon the coral reefs may be no more.

Corals are believed to protect against all kinds of threats and to help overcome fear. In medieval times coral was regarded as a prophylactic for children because it represented the blood of Christ. According to Islam coral was believed to protect against misfortunes.

The ‘Did You Know’ series is made possible with the support of OPAP (Cyprus) and the Active Citizens Fund.

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