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Life in Shark Bay

Shark Bay, Indian Ocean, Australia

Story by UrtheCast Gallery August 19th, 2016

What lies beneath these beautiful turquoise waters? Far more than sharks…

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Although it was named by the infamous pirate William Dampier for its shark population, a menagerie of fauna call this stunning bay ‘home’. Here, near the westernmost part of Australia in the Indian Ocean, duogong, dolphins, rays, turtles, and diverse fish species all inhabit this biodiverse region. What’s more, some of the world’s oldest lifeforms can be found here — stromatolites, which are curious algae colonies that form from deposits over time. Take a closer look at these fascinating formations, here.

Read on, below…

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Shark Bay, with its vast seagrass beds (the largest and richest in the world), great duogong population, and stromatolite concentration, was dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. Where pearling was once the economic engine of Shark Bay, this has now been superseded by fishing and salt extraction. Credits: Imagery captured from UrtheCast’s Theia camera aboard the International Space Station. Facts included from Encyclopedia Britannica and UNESCO.

Credits: Imagery captured from UrtheCast’s Theia camera aboard the International Space Station. Facts included from Encyclopedia Britannica and UNESCO.

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Footnote: Imagery captured by UrtheCast's Theia camera aboard the International Space Station.
Shark Bay, Western Australia, Australia