The Chagos Archipelago
2,200km north east of Mauritius, the Chagos Archipelago - also known as the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) - consists of at least 55 small islands in the Indian Ocean surrounded by vibrant coral reefs, incredible marine life and the clearest water in the world!
More than 300 different species of coral make up the reefs of the Chagos Archipelago. Over thousands of years these reefs have played an important part in its formation through the build-up and break down of their fragile limestone skeletons.
The reefs and islands support an abundance of wildlife including breeding colonies of 18 species of seabird, 280 species of flowering plant and ferns and over 780 species of fish - including the Chagos anemonefish (Amphiprion chagosensis), a species found nowhere else on Earth!
Why are the coral reefs of Chagos famous?
The Chagos Archipelago is home to seabirds and the world’s largest crab - the coconut crab. However, it’s incredibly healthy coral reefs and its biodiversity - or number of different animals - under the waves are truly impressive. Chagos is also unique in its location, placed in the middle of the Indian Ocean, thousands of miles away from large cities full of people and pollution. Therefore it is one of the most pristine, and healthiest coral reefs in the world!