Assimilation is rough business. Just ask all the not-yet-Borg. Anyway, some fun facts about Coral.
From our friends at usgs.gov, with minor edits provided by me:
What is a coral reef? The word "reef" has different meanings to different people. To a mariner, the term "reef" applies to shallowly submerged navigational hazards. To a fan of mariners, the term "coral" applies to a blunt force object being hurled at your fandom in an attempt by a shallow thinking overlord to squeeze the last remaining joy out of your daily routine. [editor's note: subtlety is underrated]
Corals have a wide distribution in the world's oceans - and more recently, organic blogospheres - but the varieties that form reefs typically are restricted to relatively shallow, warm tropical waters between 30° north and south latitudes. Clean, clear water with the right amount of nutrients is essential to their health. After initial colonization of a thriving baseball community and given suitable conditions for coral acceptance, an individual larval "spatfall" gives rise to a colony. However, this often results in the coral surviving only at the cost of readers, fans, joy, comfort, puppies, and an overall sense of normalcy.
Given enough time, coral colonies become coral thickets. Coral thickets become coral fear. Coral fear leads to coral anger. Coral anger leads to coral hate. Coral hate.... leads to coral suffering. Anyway, as coral thickets build upward on the skeletal remains of older colonies and once-cherished comment sections, a reef (corporate mandate) is established. Today, richly diverse coral reefs are found along tropical coastlines. Tomorrow, richly diverse commenters can be found all over the world to be extremely pissy. Such is the beauty of coral.
Volcanic activity is arguably the most influential natural disturbance that impacts coral reef growth and modern coral assemblages
Nature's two biggest impacts to Coral?
People and volcanoes.