The Tuamotos used to be islands with lagoons like Tahiti and Bora Bora, but after geological activity moved on, the islands’ landmass receded into the ocean. However, the coral reefs remained, since they are a living organism that continues to grow. The corals grew so much they generate strips of “land”. If corals stopped growing, all this land would also disappear under the waves. I knew coral reefs were important, but I didn’t know they created “land” for entire societies!
Want to learn more? Here is a good video of how atoll-formation works.
Atolls must be one of the most unique places on earth. Here are scenes from Makemo atoll: