A house for humans, a house for eels: What’s the difference?

Urban Reef sculpture by Jason DeCaires Taylor

Urban Reef sculpture by Jason DeCaires Taylor

Miles away from the repetitive and monochromatic houses that line suburban streets are the colorful clusters of coral that folks who live in the suburbs might visit when they’re on vacation away from their repetitive and monochromatic houses. Surprisingly, in the shallow, warm waters off the coast of Cancun you can find familiar outline of a suburban house.

The house is the work of sculptor Jason DeCaires Taylor, who has worked with the Cancun Underwater Museum to install these houses which act as a sanctuary and a substrate. To act as a sanctuary, the houses are located in open areas of the gulf, providing protection to marine wildlive from roving predators. And to act like a substrate, the concrete house provides an attachment point for new coral. The sculptor worked with marine biologists to develop the houses with various openings designed for specific marine species. As it turns out, both humans and our aquatic friends are going through a housing crisis. So many folks are “underwater” in their mortgages while so many species of fish and coral just need a home under water.

Alex Dent

September 28, 2012 / By

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