An atypical resting place, located three miles off the coast of Key Biscayne, Florida, allows people to bury the ashes of their loved ones in the deep blue waters. This memorial that was modelled after the lost city of Atlantis could easily be the perfect place for the afterlife of those who loved the sea.
An underwater burial place
Approving the construction of this underwater mausoleum was not an easy task for numerous government agencies and it took almost four years for this burial place to be authorized. The Neptune Memorial Reef is designed to support a healthy ecosystem and one decade later, it has become the home of 1,500 people whose remains were cremated here. This unusual place can be visited by any scuba diver or snorkeler.
An expansion of this man-made reef was opened this summer and it will have 4,000 additional memorials spread over 16 acres, approximately 40 feet deep, with placements varying from $1,500 to as much as $8,000.
One decade later, sea life is thriving
It appears that the concrete structures from the memorial are offering a high pH level to the coral reef, which enables the sea creatures to prosper. According to Jim Hutslar, the reef’s operations director and also one of the founders, animals that were missing for a very long time have been observed thanks to the existence of this memorial reef. He stated that even “a long spine sea urchin that was considered extinct in the Caribbean Sea” was actually spotted in the waters.
Also, based on an April survey, we know now that the reef is an incredible place that provides a thriving environment for more than 65 different fish, lobster, shrimp and 75 other species, such as sponges, soft and hard corals.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.