Popular Science geeked out over coral in 1914, running a 22-page (!) cover story about reefs in Australia. Our writer had trouble finding pristine coral colonies at first, writing, "Our surprise and disappointment was great therefore when we found the coral reefs to be overwhelmed with a layer of mud above which only the largest corals could raise their heads and thrive."
One wonders if he would have taken his travel budget money to the nearest bar to drown his sorrows if a local hadn't "kindly told us of the clear blue ocean water and rich coral reefs surrounding the Murray Islands."
With the day and his story saved, the reporter dives into a coral state of mind, writing about how it protects the island from the ocean's waves and telling readers he saw about 3,600,000 coral heads along Maer Island's "natural aquarium."
Read the full story in An Expedition to the Coral Reefs of Torres Straits