There are a lot of unique ways to be buried. You can be buried in a giant egg that feeds your remains to a tree, or get wrapped in a mushroom death suit that organically breaks down your body and dispels its toxins, or even have your ashes turned into a high-quality diamond as a precious memorial of your life. And if you’re a fan of oceans and marine life, you can now turn your remains into a living reef.
Eternal Reefs is offering ocean burials that transform human remains into an artificial reef for marine life. Todd Barber and Don Brawley came up with the idea in the 80s. After years of diving off the Florida Keys, the pair noticed significant degradation of the reefs in the area and they decided to do something about it. They came up with the reef ball—a perforated dome made from special pH-neutral concrete that encourages the growth of new reefs with minimal effect on the existing environment.
They didn’t add human remains into the mix until 1998 when Brawley’s father-in-law, Carleton Palmer, talked about having his cremains put in a reef. Brawley honored that wish and mixed Palmer’s remains into the reef ball concrete, and the Eternal Reefs concept was born.
The idea has since taken off and Eternal Reefs has become a popular choice for those looking to turn their remains into a “living legacy.” Prices range from $4,000 to $7,500 depending on the size of the reef ball. Larger reef balls can be used to accommodate families that want to be “buried” together.
Friends and family are encouraged to leave messages and markings in the cement. Each reef ball also gets a personalized brass medallion that acts as a headstone. Check out the Eternal Reefs website for more information.