Turkey Sank an Airbus to Create an Artificial Reef—and Draw Tourists


The ocean's most vibrant coral reefs attract scuba diving enthusiasts from around the world. Looking to boost tourism, Turkey decide to create a reef just for that purpose. Local Turkish officials recently submerged a 177-foot Airbus A300 into the Aegean Sea to serve as an underwater attraction for a nearby resort town, Daily Sabah reports.

The jet was gradually lowered about 75 feet beneath the surface over the course of two and a half hours using cranes and balloons for support. After the sunken aircraft attracts a small ecosystem of marine life, officials hope it will draw close to 250,000 tourists a year to Kuşadası, a well-known tourist spot and common departure point for visitors to Ephesus. This isn't the first time a Turkish town has submerged a plane to attract divers; Daily Sabah notes that three small planes have been sunk on the country's Mediterranean coast since 2009. 

Anything from statues to shipwrecks can serve as the base for an artificial reef. The 36-year-old Airbus currently resting on the Aegean seabed is reportedly the largest plane that's ever been used as a reef. It still pales in comparison to the USS Oriskany reef, which consists of a 44,000-ton aircraft carrier located off the coast of Florida.

[h/t Daily Sabah]

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