Captain James Cook discovers the Great Barrier Reef

On this day in 1770, English explorer and naval officer Captain James Cook discovered the Great Barrier Reef on board his ship in Australia, The Endeavour. Due to unforeseen circumstances, it took Cook and his crew three months to navigate through the maze-like construction of the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres.

Since 1981, the reef has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with CNN labelling it one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

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