ENVIRONMENT
09/05/2013 06:21 pm ET Updated Nov 10, 2014

These Macro Coral Photos Are Totally Jaw-Dropping

We knew coral reefs were beautiful, but these macro shots of the aquatic polyps are totally breathtaking.

The photos were taken by Daniel Stoupin, a 26-year-old marine biology student who was given access to studios owned by coral collectors and aquarists. All of the photos are from coral found in the Great Barrier Reef and around Australia.

Sadly, coral populations have been hard hit by climate change and global sea temperature increases. Mass bleachings, ocean acidification and disease have severely weakened reefs around the planet, according to NOAA, and the Great Barrier Reef's health was classified as "poor" in 2011.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this entry misidentified several species of coral in the caption.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Please visit Stoupin's website to see these photos.

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