The Gorgonian or Fan Coral as it is commonly refered to is one of the favourites of the scuba divers on our Great Barrier Reef trips. Best seen from underwater and not on top, it is one of the joys that only diving can truly allow you to appreciate. It is a soft coral that is easily damaged by coming to close so we tell everyone to stay a few metres (6ft) away at all times.
The fans are formed by the coral polyps building on top of each other in a vertical formation. The growth of the fan is very dependant on the temperatures and current of the water. The bigger and more flexible of the fans are found in areas with consistent currents while stiffer shorter species are found in calmer areas.
Brittles stars, algae and other species often call the fans their home. The use the structure as a great place to sit and feed on the nutrients that pass through the impressive gorgonian structures.