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Marine Places

Cathedral Reef

A sloping fore reef stretches down to a circular sand patch known as The Cathedral. A deep channel to the east extends seaward with an interesting reef wall. Star corals are abundant here, and take on a dome shape in shallower areas. Countless small creatures live between the coral heads, such as moray eels, brittlestars and urchins

Points of Special Interest

1. Broken pillar coral - These beautiful corals grow in tall columns reaching towards the surface. This particular colony has been damaged, but a new colony is growing from the broken fragment

2. Green moray den - The green moray is the Caribbean’s largest species of moray eel; they have poor vision and hunt for fish and crustaceans mainly using their sense of smell

3. Pederson cleaning shrimp zone - Watch symbiosis in action as the shrimp retreats into the corkscrew anemone’s stinging tentacles for protection

4. Black coral thickets - Endangered black corals are usually found in deeper areas of coral reefs. Only the coral’s skeleton is black; the polyps themselves can actually be quite brightly coloured

5. Spotted drum zone - This beautiful fish feeds at night on crustaceans, but hides under ledges during the day. Drums gain their name from the drumming sound they can make using the swim bladder

6. Schooling mahogany snappers - The silvery mahogany snapper is found in large schools during the day which provide protection from larger predatory species

7. Cleaning station - Watch as bluehead wrasse, juvenile spanish hogfish and cleaning gobies share a large coral head to provide their cleaning services

8. Conch zone - The queen conch is the largest snail in the world, and its giant shell can weigh as much as a bowling ball!

Species to Discover

Mantis Shrimp, Redlip Blenny, Redspotted Hawkfish, Long-Spined Urchin, Cleaning Goby, Mahogany Snapper, Green Moray, Flamingo Tongue, Pederson Cleaning Shrimp, Spotted Drum, Christmas Tree Worm, Queen Conch, Caribbean Sharpnose Puffer

Cathedral Reef Points of Interestzoom image
  • Location Providenciales Island, Turks and Caicos
  • Dive Site 10-35 m (30-120 ft)
Cathedral Reef, Providenciales Island, Turks and Caicoszoom image