Changing Planet

Weird Tales for Halloween: Dead People Give Life to Coral Reef

We’ve heard of coral dying, but did anyone imagine that dead humans could be an inspiration to keeping reefs alive?

That’s just what’s been described in the National Geographic News story  “‘Bodies’ Make Up Fake Coral Reef. Statues of dead people were dropped into the sea to form the framework for living corals. This story and more than a hundred like it have been gathered into the new National Geographic book “Tales of the Weird: Unbelievable True Stories”. Drawing forom the most popular stories published online over the past decade, the book gathers oddball scientific research reported by National Geographic.

Heat-sensing vampire bats, zombie ants, and the albino cyclops shark are just a few examples of how the real world can be scary.

12418031_10153900711084116_8462971761216697621_nDavid Braun is director of outreach with the digital and social media team illuminating the National Geographic Society’s explorer, science, and education programs.

He edits National Geographic Voices, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society’s mission and major initiatives. Contributors include grantees and Society partners, as well as universities, foundations, interest groups, and individuals dedicated to a sustainable world. More than 50,000 readers have participated in 10,000 conversations.

Braun also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship

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Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn
  • 7th grade kid

    this was cool and i found it interesting that the remains of dead people supported a corral reef

  • Na

    I’m confused, where are the dead people? In all the vid and the link it the info was only of sculptures of people, not dead people

  • Mary Ellen Sandahl

    Na, it is a bit confusing. But there were never any actual dead bodies involved in this project — just statues of people who had passed away. It would be a great way to pay a memorial tribute to a nature-loving relative or friend, if you had the resources to first have a statue made of them, and then transport it to some coral reef area!

  • Andy Grogan

    Rather desparate for someone to read you article are you. A statue isn’t a dead person and you’re a ghoul for using a headline like that.

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

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