As Coral Reefs Die, 3D Printing Brings Them Back to Life

As ocean waters warm across the world and pollution continues to add acidity into our waters, coral reefs are in trouble. And that's not good, because a quarter of marine life depend on coral reefs to survive.

Enter scientists from Monaco, Bahrain and Australia.  Teams from these countries have 3d printed colorful, pastel, sandstone coral reefs, and are inserting them onto our ocean floors, protecting marine life cycles.

3d printed coral reefs

Coral polyps, which crate the reefs, particular like "white and pink, the colors of a healthy reef," and "they prefer crevices and grooves and holes, where they will be safe from being trampled or eaten by a predator," according to Marine biologist Kristen Marhaver.

This isn't the first time humans have contributed to the expansion of coral reefs, but it is a rare example of purposefully doing so.  Ships that have gone down at sea and large concrete blocks dropped into our waters have for years created coral reefs, creating sustainability for marine life as they're threatened from increase carbon emissions and rising temperatures.

If you'd like to learn more about this project, the Reef Design Lab has plenty of material.


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