On This Day 11 June

By TheBoldAge. Published 2020-06-11
3200 years ago Troy was sacked and burned in the Trojan War and 23 years ago (1997) Jurassic Park was released in the US. Today we look at the Great Barrier Reef on which Captain Cook ran aground in 1770.

HMS Endeavour ran aground in 1770

In 1770 Captain James Cook's ship The Endeavour ran aground off the coast of Australia on what we now know as the Great Barrier Reef. It took the crew a day to get free of the reef, having to throw over 50 tons of goods overboard to lighten the ship. Captain Cook was on his search for the great southern continent.

Did you know: In 1768 Louis de Bougainville reached the reef during an exploratory mission

gbr map

The Great Barrier Reef Facts

  • world's largest coral reef system (over 2900 individual reefs)
  • covers an area of 344,000 square kms
  • became world heritage site in 1981
  • it has lost more than half of its coral cover since 1985 (in 2012)
  • northern parts of the reef have been identified as dead due to rising water temperature

The indigenous population of Australia is thought to be the oldest civilisation in the world and who clearly lived on the continent prior to its colonisation by Captain Cook in 1788.


Read more about the traditional owners of the region here

Interview with Gudju Gudju about the area and the indigenous connection to the land and sea


You can read more about the Great Barrier Reef here

64,000 Turtles coming ashore to lay eggs

Great Barrier Reef (National Geographic)

Life on the endeavour

Other events on this day

  • 1184BCE: Trojan War - Troy sacked and burned
  • 1583: first English colony in North America
  • 1770: Great Barrier Reef "discovered" by Captain James Cook when the Endeavour ran aground
  • 1938: Battle of Wuhan started
  • 1963: Thích Quảng Đức (Buddhist Monk) immolates himself in Saigon as an act of protest
  • 1987: Thatcher wins a third term
  • 1987: Diane Abbott, Paul Boateng and Bernie Grant elected as first Black MPs
  • 1993: Jurassic Park opened in US
  • 2009: Swine flu (H1N1) declared as a global pandemic by WHO
Related Topics