Mental Floss

The Creation of Artificial Reefs

Colin Patrick

The enormous Mesoamerican barrier reef system is facing an expanding list of destructive forces – such as pollution, warming ocean temperatures and overfishing. This fascinating National Geographic video explains how a sculptor named Jason Decaires Taylor is using almost 400 cement works of art to grow an artificial reef system that could provide a growing sea life habitat for centuries.

In another part of the Atlantic Ocean, another artificial reef is just beginning to grow on the recently submerged USS Kittiwake – a 1940s U.S. Naval ship now permanently located off the coast of Grand Caymen Island. The sinking – which was witnessed by some of the vessel’s former crew – will create the aforementioned reef and serve as a snorkeling and diving destination. Here's a nice shot of the boat's final buoyant moments: