The Corals of Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Coral reefs are a dazzling sight. They are home to about a quarter of all marine life like fishes, crustaceans and other species. The variety of this habitat may be staggering, but the true attraction is the stunning colours that mesmerise all who have seen it. The secret to this astonishing spectrum of colours is in the corals themselves. These tiny creatures use minerals from the seawater to develop hard exoskeletons, made of calcium carbonate. These skeletons slowly build up over millions of years, resulting in the massive underwater structures we see today.

Microscopic algae, called zooxanthellae, dwell in the tissues of the coral polyps and provide nourishing nutrients. In return, the polyps shelter the algae from the harsh elements of the sea, feeding carbon dioxide to the algae, which is necessary for photosynthesis. The polyps do not photosynthesise, but depend on the algae to provide this nourishment. The green and brown colours on reefs are a direct result of the photosynthesis administered by zooxanthellae, while the brighter colours like red and blue are proffered by coloured proteins produced by the coral animals. Coral bleaching occurs when the reef loses a majority of its algae, resulting in 'bleaching'. It loses its colour and turns dull brown or white.

coral reefs in Andaman and Nicobar islands
corals in Andaman

Depending on where they are in their life cycle, coral reefs can be divided into three - fringing reefs, barrier reefs and atolls. The coral reefs in Andaman and Nicobar Islands are of two kinds - barrier reefs on the western side of the archipelago and fringing reefs along the east coast.

The corals in Andaman extend over 11,000 sq. km., while those in Nicobar are spread out over 2,500 sq. km. Precursive scientific tests have suggested that these may be the most biologically diverse and the best-preserved reefs in India. It is a spectacle that every visitor of the island must make time to witness.

corals of Andaman and Nicobar islands

Neglect and ignorance have led to the degradation of these natural wonders. However, with proper education and discourse, we can help get these lustrous beings to their glorious best. We invite you to pay them a visit and learn all you can about how to help preserve them while you're here.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands have many wondrous sights that will leave you enthralled. The endless seas, silky sands and awe-inspiring landscape make these islands a much-revered destination for couples, especially honeymooners. Come stay at Symphony Summer Sand, Symphony Palms or Symphony Samudra to enjoy the vacation of a lifetime. We also encourage you to spread the word and do what you can to help conserve the mesmerizing corals of Andaman and Nicobar islands.