Ancient looking columns guarded by carved lions guard the entryway into a “lost city” 40 feet below the surface of the sea, complete with stone roads, soaring gates, and crumbling ruins.
Originally named the Atlantis Memorial Reef, the lost city is part of a Neptune Society sponsored underwater cemetery which also acts as an artificial reef. Located about 3 miles off the coast of Key Biscayne in Miami, Florida, the cemetery was designed by Florida artist Kim Brandell. It opened in 2007 after years of permit haggling.
Cremated remains are cast into concrete memorials and placed within the city, where divers can explore or visit with loved ones. Shipwreck diver Bert Kilbride, once listed as the oldest living scuba diver in the Guinness World Records, is interred in a place of honor at the top of one of the entry columns at the Reef gate.
Most of the architecture in the 16 acre site is concrete, with bronze and steel accents. It was intentionally designed to create a marine environment for fish and coral, in the end creating a city of the dead that is either enchanting or unbelievably creepy, depending on your interpretation.