Thursday, March 28, 2013

Reefs











Man made reefs have been a popular trend in the media for years ranging from sunken MTA train cars to tanks. Having done a few minutes of Google research I also ran across the Neptune Memorial Reef near Miami, which is made of cement and cremation ashes, oddly enough, as well as the Osbourne Reef made of thousands of used tires. The latter seems to be less popular with our oceanic friends possibly because of the fact that rubber is a tougher material to stick to. Not really sure it there is any science to back that up, but the reef itself makes for an interesting wasteland under the sea.

The reason I am doing a post about this now was because of a recent one on BLDG BLOG titled "From Rockets to Reefs". This addresses a very obvious phenomenon of space flight and here those pieces go that drop off of the rocket itself as it ascends into the atmosphere. I have a particular childhood memory that comes to mind of a 1970s illustrated story about the International Space Station. The book makes a point of informing the reader that the engine breaks into several pieces and falls back to Earth, however, it never clarifies where those pieces end up. As a kid my imagination assumed that they broke into millions of tiny pieces and scattered evenly along the eastern seaboard so it was possible that some fragments were mixed in with the soil in my neighborhood.





Apparently this is not true and they just fall back into the ocean. While this could end up being a major let down, given 30 or 40 some odd years they have been incorporated into the friendly community of the Atlantic Ocean and have become miniature reefs. They have now been removed from the sea floor and are being studied back on land, but there is a certain romance to the untended magic of the collision of space and sea.



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