The Macquarie Island site in Australia was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997. The island is the exposed crest of the undersea Macquarie oceanic ridge, raised to its present position where the Indo-Australian tectonic plate meets the Pacific plate. It is a site of major geo-conservation significance, with exposures that include excellent examples of pillow basalts and other extrusive rocks. The island is used by a number of animals, including southern elephant seals, sub-Antarctic fur seals, albatross, giant petrels, and king penguins.
Today, over 40 World Heritage sites are listed for their marine values. Together, they can be considered the “Crown Jewels of our Ocean” and are recognized for their outstanding beauty, exceptional biodiversity, or unique ecological, biological, or geological processes. Learn more about this and other marine World Heritage sites.