Coral Reefs: Secret Cities of the Sea

More than 200 specimens of corals, fish and fossils explore the richness of life beneath the waves

This exhibition celebrates coral reefs, not just as beautiful environments, but as a crucial resource to more than 500 million people who depend on them for their livelihood. While coral reefs only make up around 0.1% of the earth’s surface, the benefits they provide – to fishing, tourism and storm protection for example – are estimated to be worth more than £200 billion each year.

Experts at the museum have been studying corals from ancient and modern reefs in order to identify how they have responded to changes in the ocean caused by climate change, pollution and overfishing. Findings reveal that around a quarter of coral reefs are damaged beyond repair and many more are still under serious threat.

Their research is at the heart of this illuminating display, where it is joined by high-definition panoramic imagery captured using in the multi-year Catlin Seaview Survey.

Venue details

Natural History Museum Cromwell Road London SW7 5BD 020 7942 5000

Entry details

£5 with National Art Pass (standard entry £10)

Daily, 10am – 5.50pm

Closed 24 – 26 Dec