Photo: Coral Restoration Foundation/Facebook

TikToker Found Mysterious Underwater Structures on Google Earth. Here’s What the Place Really Is.

Sustainability News
by Noelle Alejandra Salmi Jun 28, 2021

There is a lot of crazy stuff underwater. But when a TikTok user who goes by looked below the surface near the Florida Keys, they couldn’t believe what they saw — a strange field of rectangles laid out on the ocean floor, next to an even weirder collection of antenna-like formations with bizarre growths.

In a video, the TikToker zooms down to the ocean south of the Keys, and then seems to plunge underwater to reveal the bizarre structures.

Users speculated it might be a recreation of Atlantis, the home of Ariel and her mermaid family, a rock farm for aquarium decorations, an underwater graveyard, and many other odd possibilities.

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A few users, though, guessed correctly. It’s actually a nursery for new coral, and it’s how Florida is saving its coral reefs that have been damaged by pollution and climate change. Fragments of coral are placed on metal “coral trees” until they grow large and healthy enough to be returned to reefs.

The project is the work of the Coral Restoration Foundation, which ensures coral is genetically diverse and also able to withstand rising ocean temperatures. The nonprofit dedicated to saving coral reefs has already moved 130,000 endangered corals back to Florida’s reefs.

You can spend time volunteering there, as one TikToker said he’s done. It’s one of many initiatives that put Florida at the top of the list for sustainable wildlife tourism. Saving coral reefs and helping give back to the ocean in other ways is also one of the newest trends in scuba diving — one that we fully support.

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