Travel Guide: Neptune Memorial Reef

The thought of death is almost synchronous with the idea of “resting in peace," and there is no better depiction of this than an underwater cemetery surrounded by the dark stillness of the ocean. While the thought of visiting the world’s only underwater graveyard might not be everyone’s impression of having fun as a tourist, the Neptune Memorial Reef is definitely an experience worth having at least once in a lifetime.

What Is The Neptune Memorial Reef?

fishes underwater memorial reef

Image Source: Pixabay


Created by Gary Levine and designed by Kim Brandell in 2007, the Neptune Memorial Reef is located around 5.2 km off the South Floridian coast near Key Biscayne. This wonderfully planned manmade reef covers around 16 acres on the ocean bed and is also home to a huge spectrum of marine creatures native to the region. Lending a huge helping hand in supporting the native marine ecosystem, the reef also provides for a green burial space due to the natural processes that occur within the reef ecology.

Joining a dive boat expedition is a wonderful way to explore the reef, pay a visit to your departed loved ones and also be surrounded by the mesmerizing underwater world of marine life including corals, sea turtles, parrotfish, angelfish, etc.

The process of memorializing a loved one at the Neptune Memorial Reef includes cremation of the body, mixing the final remains with concrete and molding the same into sea creature shapes, like corals, shells etc (marked with the individual’s name) and placed at a specific spot on the seabed..

A Glimpse Into The Neptune Memorial Reef

two scuba divers exploring the memorial reef

Image Source: Pixabay

With various visiting options like diving boats accompanied with instructors or scuba diving yourself if you are certified for the same, taking a short and meditative dive to glimpse the world of the Neptune Memorial Reef is definitely an experience that will stay with you.

The Design Inspiration

The Marine Life At The Neptune Memorial Reef

How To Visit The Neptune Memorial Reef

Process Of Cremation

Cost Of Cremation

What Is There To See At The Neptune Memorial Reef?

fishes and coral reefs

Image Source: Pixabay

Everything about the Neptune Memorial Reef is unique and spectacular. It is the first ever underwater cemetery in the world planned under the depths of the ocean, which makes it an extraordinary concept.

While the reef holds the last remains of around 1,500 people, additional space for around 4,000 individuals has already been expanded.

The overall design is planned to hold the last mortal remains of over 250,000 souls under the water, placed artistically on the seabed which is definitely something that has never been imagined before.


Underwater Artwork



fish swimming under the sea

Image  Source: Freepik

Over the years, the Neptune Memorial Reef has proved to be a blessing to the marine ecology.  Marine biologists have carefully noted the species visitation as well as coral expansions over the last few years. Studies show that the rate of coral growth and the proliferation of the native marine life here has been a bigger success than any other artificial reef project in the world. It is safe to say that this manmade reef has turned out to be a huge architectural as well as ecological accomplishment for mankind.

For those in love with the stories of the sea, the Neptune Memorial Reef is definitely an experience that cannot be missed. If you embrace the idea of life and death with equanimity, this is perhaps a unique option for a cemetery to choose when the time comes. For those who choose this destination, their last remains will be there forever, lending a helping hand to the marine ecology. After all, what better than that your last remains give birth to new life forms!


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