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We all dream of sunny beaches—lined with lush stands of palm trees, alive with the chatter of flamboyantly-feathered birds and surrounded by warm, clear waters teeming with vibrant fishes. Whether we have actually been there or not, we are quite familiar with every detail of the archetypical island paradise down to the stiff, tropical drink.That notwithstanding, the tropical marine stretches of the world—and the countless coral reef habitats that are often found there—are each truly unique. The Weather Channel recently reflected upon some of the particularities of these diverse environments, and provided a list of the top ten areas it deemed to be the most spectacular.Of course, one person’s utopia is another’s eleventh choice, or worse. Though Australia’s Great Barrier Reef topped this list, a similar list recently published by travel guide Lonely Planet excluded the much-famed structure altogether (albeit to much resulting protest). Continue reading →