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Coral reef (Ian Somerhalder)

[In 2015, Conservation International created a series called “Nature is speaking”, where famous people impersonated forces of nature. Today, 1 June 2022 is World Reef Day. You can find out more here.]

I am coral.

Some people think I am just a rock.

When in fact, I am the largest thing alive on this planet.

I am so big I can be seen from space.

But for how long?

I grow for almost 250 million years.

And humans came along and now 1/5 of me is gone.

Sure, I live at the bottom of the sea.

And you might not see me that often.

But you do need me.

Do you realize that ¼ of all marine life depends on me?

I am the nursery of the sea.

Little fish depend on me for food.

And to hide from the big fish.

And guess who eats the big fish?

That’s right.

You do.

I’m the protein factory for the world.

Yet you raise the temperature of the ocean so I can’t live here anymore.

And when big storms and tsunamis barrel through the ocean,

I’m your fortress.

Yet you tear me apart with dynamite and poison me with cyanide.

Well, here’s a crazy thought:

Stop killing me.