GOOD NEWS: Australia's Great Barrier Reef is undergoing a massive spawning event as it recovers from several years of "coral bleaching" caused by overly warm ocean temperatures. Marine biologist Gareth Phillips said the colorful spawning demonstrates the reef's resilience following less-than-ideal conditions. "It is gratifying to see the reef give birth," he said.
- Over the course of just a few days, the coral releases a cascading wave of sperm and egg, which resemble tiny pink balls.
- For most of the year, coral reproduces asexually. Once a year, however, they release sperm and egg into the wild to enhance genetic variability.
- The Great Barrier Reef covers about 134,000 square miles off the northeast coast of Australia.