Marine

Giant octopus and historic ship combine to create new coral ecosystem

Giant octopus and historic shi...
The kraken is complete
The kraken is complete
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The giant octopus framework taking shape 
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The giant octopus framework taking shape 
The giant octopus framework taking shape
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The giant octopus framework taking shape
Shot taken soon after the ship was sunk in April 2017
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Shot taken soon after the ship was sunk in April 2017
Three months after the ship was sunk the octopus frame is already taking on aspects of a young ecosystem
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Three months after the ship was sunk the octopus frame is already taking on aspects of a young ecosystem
The kraken is complete
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The kraken is complete
The kraken is complete
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The kraken is complete
Three months after the ship was sunk the octopus frame is already taking on aspects of a young ecosystem
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Three months after the ship was sunk the octopus frame is already taking on aspects of a young ecosystem
The kraken is complete
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The kraken is complete
The original design sculpted by artist Drew Shook
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The original design sculpted by artist Drew Shook
The giant octopus framework taking shape
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The giant octopus framework taking shape
Three months after the ship was sunk the octopus frame is already taking on aspects of a young ecosystem
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Three months after the ship was sunk the octopus frame is already taking on aspects of a young ecosystem
Three months after the ship was sunk the octopus frame is already taking on aspects of a young ecosystem
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Three months after the ship was sunk the octopus frame is already taking on aspects of a young ecosystem
Plans for the design from artist Aydika James
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Plans for the design from artist Aydika James
Plans for the design from artist Aydika James
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Plans for the design from artist Aydika James
The artificial reef is designed to also act as a diving tourism destination to raise money for BVI environmental causes
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The artificial reef is designed to also act as a diving tourism destination to raise money for BVI environmental causes
Moments before the ship was sunk in April
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Moments before the ship was sunk in April
The octopus is already starting to look like a strange organic entity
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The octopus is already starting to look like a strange organic entity
The artificial reef is designed to also act as a diving tourism destination to raise money for BVI environmental causes
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The artificial reef is designed to also act as a diving tourism destination to raise money for BVI environmental causes
The giant octopus framework taking shape
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The giant octopus framework taking shape
The octopus is already starting to look like a strange organic entity
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The octopus is already starting to look like a strange organic entity
The octopus is already starting to look like a strange organic entity
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The octopus is already starting to look like a strange organic entity
Before the kraken is installed
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Before the kraken is installed
Imagine what this is going to like in ten or twenty years time when it is teeming with colorful life?
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Imagine what this is going to like in ten or twenty years time when it is teeming with colorful life?
Imagine what this is going to like in ten or twenty years time when it is teeming with colorful life?
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Imagine what this is going to like in ten or twenty years time when it is teeming with colorful life?
The artificial reef is designed to also act as a diving tourism destination to raise money for BVI environmental causes
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The artificial reef is designed to also act as a diving tourism destination to raise money for BVI environmental causes
The Kodiak Queen in 1941 when it was a US Navy Fuel Barge stationed in Pearl Harbor
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The Kodiak Queen in 1941 when it was a US Navy Fuel Barge stationed in Pearl Harbor
View gallery - 26 images

What happens when you purposely sink an historic WWII ship with a large scale sculpture of a giant octopus? A new fascinating marine experiment blending art and coral reef planting dubbed The Maverick BVI Art Reef.

The unique project started when British Virgin Islands marine mechanic and photographer Owen Buggy discovered a ship called the Kodiak Queen in a local scrap metal yard. A few years earlier historian Mike Cochran had spied the same ship and assembled a webpage dedicated to its history.

The Kodiak Queen turned out to be one of the few surviving ships from the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Commissioned in 1941 as the USS YO-44, the ship searched for survivors in the wake of the horrific attack in WWII.

The Kodiak Queen in 1941 when it was a US Navy Fuel Barge stationed in Pearl Harbor
The Kodiak Queen in 1941 when it was a US Navy Fuel Barge stationed in Pearl Harbor

Buggy formed a collaborative team with the goal of sinking the ship and using it as a foundation to create an artificial coral reef. Billionaire Richard Branson then stepped in to help fund the project through his not-for-profit foundation called Unite BVI.

In classic Branson fashion he told the group during a brainstorming session: "Don't think what's the cheapest way to do it or what's the fastest way to do it ... think, 'What's the most AMAZING way to do it?'"

Plans for the design from artist Aydika James
Plans for the design from artist Aydika James

Artists Mike Cline and Aydika James heard Branson's call for something amazing and pitched the idea of incorporating a giant octopus into the wreckage, turning the artificial reef into a spectacular art project that would grow and change as it becomes enveloped by the marine ecosystem.

The octopus is already starting to look like a strange organic entity
The octopus is already starting to look like a strange organic entity

The giant, strange experiment reached fruition in April 2017 and was successfully sunk in the British Virgin Islands. Months later the artificial reef is now open to the diving public and showing early signs of a burgeoning young reef ecosystem. As coral inevitably grows on the huge kraken-like octopus mould, this will surely develop into a spectacular underwater eco-art piece.

Take a look through the photo gallery to get a closer look at this spectacle.

Source: BVI Art Reef

View gallery - 26 images
1 comment
LordInsidious
Awesome!