Whackaloonery or Wave of the Future?

On any given day, there are perhaps two dozen daily and weekly papers that cross my desk. What this ultimately serves to do is reinforce my worldview that people are strange.

The area where this is typically most evident is in different technological developments. Of course, this comes from the fact that, in creating new technologies, shooting the moon can result in either public ridicule or serious jumbo juice.

One such article leaped to the forefront of my consciousness as the nuttiest idea of the week--the result of what two guys can create when they ponder the age-old question, "How to combine scuba diving with death?"

The two had previously developed a new artificial reef technology. By designing cast-concrete structures that would be sunk to the ocean bed, they found that sea life would inhabit the artificial reefs within months.

Great idea. Terrific technology. But here's where it gets weird. The two started mixing the cremated remains of humans into their concrete structures before sinking them into the sea, thereby creating a company they call "Eternal Reefs".

CEO George Frankel says that this resolves the conflict between the deceased who want their ashes spread at sea, versus families who don't want to dump the loved one into the drink. He says they create a "particular place where thier family can visit." Particular, indeed.

Today, there are about 700 people who have been sunk to the ocean floor to become a playground for the fishies. Should you or a loved one like to be number 701, here's how it works:

The company will send you a map of locations for its reef ball placement and you pick a site. They then take the cremated remains and mix them with marine-grade concrete. If you like, friends and family can impress handprints into the concrete as it cures.

Brass rubbings can be attached to the reef ball if you like. Then, the ball is available for a memorial viewing. Next step is out to the boat, where CEO Frankel reads JFK's speech "To the Sea" as the reef ball is dropped into the ocean.

The interesting technology involved is that the reef is designed to last for over 500 years, and withstand pressure up to 10,000 pounds per square inch. I'm not entirely sure why that's important, particularly after someone has been cremated, but it's a nifty stat, nonetheless.

Prices for Eternal Reefs range from $995 to the deluxe package at $6,495. Services range from the casting itself to transporting it to the site, bronze plaque(s) and inscription(s), final placement and dedication, a GPS survey that records the exact latitude and longitude of the reef, and two memorial certificates.

Right now, Eternal Reefs is only licensed to imbed reefs on the east coast of the United States, and they report that the most frequently requested final resting places are off the coasts of Sarasota, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Florida. If all progresses according to plans, they will expand to the west coast in the future.

Just to cover every possible scenario, the duo reports that they offer military honors, as well as pet burials. If you like, they will withhold a bit of your ashes (if you die first) to later mix with your partner's ashes in their reef ball.

I don't know...it all sounds pretty wacky to me. But I imagine that this is precisely what appeals to folks who want to do something like this. As you can see, Eternal Reefs customers seem to have a sense of humor.


Schnapps said...

That is odd, to say the least.

Although, being somewhat of a fish myself, I am strangely attracted to the idea.

Either that, or its the wine.

Hey, maybe one should be put in Casey's pool! See what grows there.


Aspeth said...

Heehee...It *is* a weird idea. I keep flipping back and forth between it being the strangest thing I've heard of, to thinking that it's kind of cool.

Jesus...from what I hear, Casey's pool is growing enough things without artificial aids. I had to take a break from him, but after catching up, it seems like more of the same from fucktard.