The Miss Universe Australia 2016, Caris Tiivel, has finally revealed the gown she will use during the 2017 Miss Universe beauty pageant. The 23-year-old titleholder explained that the multicolored gown was designed to symbolize the Great Barrier Reef. As well as focus the attention on the reef’s coral bleaching.

“We wanted to raise awareness about the coral bleaching that’s happening,” Tiivel said. “The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure in the world … so it’s important to keep it going for future generations.”

The gown, which is one of the four outfits Tiivel will use in the competition in the Philippines. Was created by Steph Audino, an Australian fashion designer. While the gown is intended to do good. The beauty queen says that she is preparing herself for whatever criticisms the gown could have.

We got the first look at Miss Universe Australia, Caris Tiivel's costume! It is inspired by the Great Barrier Reef in attempt to raise awareness about coral bleaching. Stunning! #9Today

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Tiivel is Supported by Scientists

Tiivel’s aim to increase awareness to coral bleaching is actually encouraged by scientists and researchers. As shown in a study published last year. Which revealed that coral bleaching has killed nearly 35 percent of corals in the central and northern parts of the Great Barrier Reef. Only seven percent of the reef remained undamaged by the bleaching.

“We found on average that 35 percent of the corals are now dead or dying on 84 reefs that we surveyed along the northern and central sections of the Great Barrier Reef, between Townsville and Papua New Guinea,” explained Terry Hughes. A professor and the director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University (JCU). “Some reefs are in much better shape, especially from Cairns southwards, where the average mortality is estimated at only five percent.”

Coral bleaching occurs when zooxanthellae, a group of small photosynthetic algae that gives the coral its color, goes away due to rising ocean temperatures. Their disappearance consequently turns the corals white. Although recovery can take time, coral bleaching can be solved once ocean temperature decreases. And when the algae return to the corals.

Also Read: Coral Bleaching Australia: Why is it Dangerous? 

Also Read: Miss Universe 2017: Everything You Want to Know