Originally known as the Atlantis Memorial Reef, the Neptune Memorial Reef is an underwater mausoleum for cremated remains. Located 3.25 miles east of Key Biscayne in Miami, Florida, it is also the world's largest man-made reef, covering over 65,000 square-meters of ocean floor, at a depth of 40 feet.
Instead of spreading ashes over ocean waters, people can take the remains of a loved one to Neptune Memorial Reef, where the ashes are mixed with cement designed for underwater use and fitted into a mold, which a diver then places and secures into the reef. A copper and bronze plaque is then installed next to the structure and you are given a photo album with images from the installation.
The project was initially supposed to be simply a replica of “the Lost City of Atlantis”, but then it shifted towards a more profitable goal by becoming the world’s first underwater cemetery and memorial park. Only a half an acre has been constructed, but when completed the cemetery-cum-reef will cover 16 acres. Already the reef has started to resemble the Lost City with bronze statues of lions, majestic columns and sculptures of shells and starfish. There will be underwater roads leading to a central feature with benches and statuary. The first phase is estimated to be able to accommodate 850 remains, with an eventual goal of more than 125,000.
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