20,000 years ago, this area wasn’t even underwater.
两万年前这片区域甚至都没在水下
It was covered with eucalyptus and paper bark forests.
而是被桉树和纸树皮林所覆盖
And it was home to animals commonly found on the Australian plains.
它是澳大利亚平原上常见的动物的家园
Aboriginal people would have lived here too,
土著人也居住在这里
hunting wildlife in areas
狩猎野生动物
that are now deep underwater.
这里现在是深海
Then 10,000 years ago,
一万年前
at the end of the last Ice Age,
在最后一个冰河时代的末期
ice at the poles melted and sea levels rose all around the world,
两极的冰融化使全世界的海平面都上升
flooding this low lying coast.
淹没了这片低洼的海岸
Stories of the Great Flood are still passed down in Aboriginal culture today.
关于大洪水的故事仍然流传在今天的土著文化中
As the sea rose
随着海平面上升
corals began to grow on the Rocky fringes of the continental shelf,
珊瑚就开始在大陆架的岩石边缘生长
creating the Great Barrier Reef we see today.
创造了今天我们所看到的大堡礁
These shallow tropical waters are clear and warm
这些热带浅水清澈温暖
perfect conditions for coral to thrive.
非常适合珊瑚的生长
Sheltered behind this long strip of reef,
而隐藏在这片狭长的暗礁后面
a lagoon was born,
一个泻湖就诞生了
an area of protected water larger than all of Great Britain.
是比整个英国面积都大的受保护水域
With it came a new coastline of shallow sandy waters.
随之而来的是一条新的浅湾海岸线
The rising sea cut off areas of high ground,
上升的海水把高地隔开
creating the 600 islands that dot the lagoon.
在泻湖上形成了600座小岛
Some are little more than rocks.
有些比岩石大不了多少
Others substantial mountains covered in Woodland.
其它的则是被森林覆盖的巨大山脉
The Great Barrier Reef is so large
大堡礁是如此的大
that it can be seen from space,
以至于在太空都能看到
quite an achievement considering the size of the creatures that built it.
考虑到建造它的生物的大小 这是一项相当大的成就

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