Sea Fans and Sponges
This coral reef contains an abundance of sea fans and sponges. Sea fans are a type of coral known as a gorgonian. Here they have grown into flat, branched structures that resemble a hand operated fan. There are about 500 different species of gorgonians found in the oceans of the world, but they are particularly abundant in the shallow waters of the western Atlantic Ocean, including Florida, Bermuda, and the West Indies. The red and purple structures in the image are sponges.