The coral reef in the Mexican Caribbean is one of the most amazing natural formations because of its colorful beauty and the fact that the reef is the most ancient one on the planet. Coral Reefs are always located close to the equator in shallow, warm waters because most of the biological cycles take advantage of the sun's energy.
Its basic structure is a rock-like formation that is actually a mass of small organisms called polyps. When they die they form a limestone skeleton over which a hard outer shell develops and continues to grow. Reefs attract an incredible amount of life, including many different types of tropical fish, mollusks and other fascinating marine species.
This growth of a reef is a very slow process and it has a very delicate equilibrium. Although some of the considerable sized formations have existed for hundreds, even thousands of years, polyps are in fact extremely sensitive to temperature changes and contact with other creatures.
One of the reef's worst enemies is mankind, whose damage had resulted in irreparable losses in just a few years. Scuba diving etiquette categorically forbids touching or swimming to close to these living wonders.
Today we know coral reefs are the base for marine life and therefore our planet's life base as well, thus it is of vital importance that we learn how to admire and at the same time protect them.