A variety of corals form an outcrop on Flynn Reef, part of the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns, Queensland, Australia. Photo by Toby Hudson
Only when conditions are just right does this natural spectacle commence. Within a week after the first November full moon, sea temperatures must reach 27 degrees Celsius (81oF) and the tidal movement must subside to signal corals to begin their afterhour extravaganza. Millions of corals broadcast their eggs and sperm into the waters, revitalizing the reefs with their progeny.
The GBR is a big place (the biggest reef on the planet, visible from space), so different parts of the reef will experience spawning at slightly different times. But when it’s all said and done, millions of corals will call November their birth-month.
If you’re a diver looking for a last minute getaway, I encourage you to head down under to celebrate the renewal of life en masse.
Professional footage of GBR’s 2009 mass spawning event.