The beauty of coral reefs has appealed to the human psyche for centuries. In the late 1800s, Alfred Russel Wallace described a coral reef as “one of the most astonishing and beautiful sights I have ever beheld. The bottom was absolutely hidden by a continuous series of corals, sponges, actinae [sea anemones] and other marine productions, of magnificent dimensions, varied forms, and brilliant colours … . It was a sight to gaze at for hours, and no description can do justice to its surpassing beauty and interest.”