TRUE: Ancient Greek dentists used the venom from the stingray’s spine as anesthetic.
TRUE: Doctors once used Asian carp as a test for pregnancy.
FALSE: Amazon explorers took a medicine derived from coral to fight off malaria.
Coral has not been used to fight off malaria, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have real medicinal promise. In fact, coral reefs are often called “the medicine cabinet of the 21st century.” Coral reef-based medicines are being developed to treat cancer, arthritis, heart disease, viruses, and more–yet another reason to protect these delicate ecosystems. You can learn more about why coral reefs are so important from NOAA here.