Who would have thought that man-made corals could give Life?
Well these guys @summerislandmaldives believed in it and now it's made to the list of world records.
The Guinness Book of World Records has recognised the 3D printed coral reef in Summer Island Maldives as the largest of its kind in the world.
Hats off to Alex Goad of Reef Design Lab and team Summer Island Maldives.
The breakthrough initiative of the "World's largest artificial reef" was carried out in 2018, at Summer Island’s ‘Blue Lagoon’, a sandy part of the lagoon.
Watch the short video (0:59) How the 3D Artificial Reef was installed.
This innovative initiative was meant to create a more resilient coral reef ecosystem not only for Summer Island Maldives Resort island but as groundwork to protect and restore the nation’s coral reefs at large.
Starting in as recent as 2014, the Maldives' coral ecosystem has been struck by repeated severe coral bleaching events that have affected 60% to 90% of its coral reef ecosystem.
With no ground surface higher than 9.9 feet (3 meters), and 80 percent of the land area lying below 3.3 feet (1 meter) above average sea level, the Maldives is indeed the flattest country on Earth and being that these Islands are dramatically vulnerable to global warming (Source: Guinness World Records).
How was the 3D Reef Project carried out?
The project started in Melbourne, Australia. Industrial designer, Alex Goad of Reef Design Lab used sophisticated computer modeling to design reef structures similar to that of the coral reefs found in the Maldives.
A large 3-D printer mould set the structures out in ceramic; made from a substance similar to the calcium carbonate found in coral reefs.
With hundreds of these concrete forms Divers constructed a reef 20 feet deep on the ocean floor. They then transplanted fragments of live coral onto the artificial reef.
In a year or two, the corals, had been observed to have grown over the 3-D reef. The resort's hope to have a new, natural looking reef, teeming with fish and marine life had finally come to life.
This highly encouraged and motivated supporters of the environment's sustainability. It has also given people of the Maldives much hope that together we can help preserve the rapidly dying coral systems of the Maldives.
It was found that the 3-D reef being virtually identical in structure to real reefs acted as a great hiding place that the fish loved. It offered these lovely creatures all the light and shade that real reefs provided.
If the 3-D printing technology proves more successful at growing corals than existing coral propagation methods, it could be a novel way of helping coral reefs survive a warming climate.
But we need to understand that Technology and Innovation alone is not enough to combat climate concerns.
We need to be clear of our larger roles and responsibilities to commit ourselves to help preserve these ecosystems.
Finally, as with any new technology and research there are many questions that remain unanswered.
Can it attract live corals and can it withstand the turbulence of global warming?
Will the natural rate of coral evolution happen fast enough?
For now all we can say is that it will take time, observation and effort in order to answer these questions.
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