Good shucking idea: New burial option restores oyster habitats

April 11, 2022 |

In the United Kingdom, two art school graduates have developed a burial concept in which cremains are 3-D printed and made into artificial reefs. 

Dubbed Resting Reef, the startup is still in the prototype stage using animal remains, but inventors Louise Lenborg Skajem and Aura Elena Murillo Pérez hope to offer the unconventional burial option to humans in the near future. 

The artificial reefs will benefit the environment by of creating habitats for marine life.  Skajem and Murillo—both Royal College of Art graduates—start by pulverizing bone and oyster shells. They then add a binder to make the material amenable to 3D printing. They envision shapes similar to stromatolite reefs, which would attract blue-green algae and oysters. 

“The way they grow is in layers, which is very similar to how oyster shells grow. We are using 3D printers to bio-mimic similar layers and ridges that are ideal for small marine organisms to attach to,” the developers tell Yanko Design.

According to Resting Reef’s website, 85% of oyster reefs have been lost due to human activities. 

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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