July 21, 2011

Neptune Memorial Reef

At first glance, this man made reef looks like any other underwater park; eco-friendly structures overgrown with natural sea particles and surrounded by thousands of fish and other marine life. But look a little closer and you may see a small inscription, or a mark of some sort, that hints at the kind of person who's remains lay within the structure. You see, their ashes have been mixed with cement designed for underwater use and fitted into a mould, which a diver then places and secures into the reef. A copper and bronze plaque is installed with the person's name, date of birth and death. There is also a line for a message.The Neptune Memorial Reef in Miami, Florida, is the first of it's kind; a classical re-creation of the Lost City, 40 feet under the sea, these structures have produced a marine habitat to promote coral and marine organism's growth while creating the ultimate 'Green Burial' opportunity. It's seen as a diver's haven and a beautiful final resting place for those who loved the sea.  To some it is a testament to the power of the ocean to claim almost every sort of material—including the human body—and make it flower with life. Read more on it here or visit the Memorial website to see whether you think this concept is creepy or creative!

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