Could LEGO bricks save Singapore’s endangered coral reefs?

Scientists are working on a way to use LEGO bricks to save Singapore’s endangered coral reefs.

Delicate and easily-damaged, coral reefs are home to many species of marine life and also play a part in reducing global warming. The third largest coral reef in the world is located in Singapore, where land reclamation and coastal development have caused it to deplete in recent years.

As reported by the BBC, resourceful scientists may have found a way to reduce the loss of coral reefs by using LEGO bricks. Loose bits of coral are removed and broken up, then attached to LEGO bricks to eventually be reinserted back into the reef. The small pieces of coral can then grow into larger colonies, promoting the reef to heal and expand.

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Image: Smuconlaw, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Jani Tanzil from the National University of Singapore explains the thinking behind the innovative process: “(LEGO) was modular, it was scalable. So if we wanted to work with larger pieces of coral, we just need to stick on more LEGO or more building blocks.”

Known as ‘vertical farming’, this method saves space, allowing the scientists to maximise the amount of coral they can regrow in their aquarium at the St. John’s Island National Marine Lab.

Featured image: kris_kelvin

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LEGO Ideas Great Coral Reef 1

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