family walking into a large brightly lit metal tube called Coral Explorer

Colour - Secret Language of the Reef

Permanent exhibition

Recommended for all ages

Queensland Museum Tropics


Explore Colour - Secret Language of the Reef to discover how coral and creatures of the Great Barrier Reef communicate through colour, lights and patterns.

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most diverse and beautiful natural wonders of the world. This interactive exhibition explores how coral and marine creatures on the reef use colour, light, patterns and textures to communicate.

After decades of research, scientists have a good understanding of the Great Barrier Reef’s changing kaleidoscope of colour. Today we know it can indicate the health of the reef, warn of danger, and assist in deception and concealment.

Things to see and do:

  • Follow Monty the Mantis Shrimp as he reveals many exciting facts about the creatures of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Experience how our vision underwater is different to fish and other marine creatures in the interactive Fishy Vision.
  • Learn more about the reef by exploring Queensland Museum's Great Barrier Reef Discovery Guide.
  • Explore a sample of the museum's coral collection - one of the largest in the world.
  • Learn about the important coral DNA research that is conducted at the museum and how it will assist in future reef conservation efforts.
  • Find out how corals live, the diverse depths at which they grow and how coral bleaching occurs.

Colour: Secret Language of the Reef is part of the Discover Tropical Queensland gallery on Level 2.

Colour: Secret Language of the Reef at Museum of Tropical Queensland

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