Back in 2015, League Of Legends players worked with developer Riot Games to create an artificial reef, shaped like champion Nautilus, to drop in Moreton Bay, Australia. Now, a local diver has shared a look at how that reef is faring seven years later.
Taking to Reddit, user AussieEquiv shared a series of images, tracking Nautilus’ evolution from hunk of artificial reef to useful, important part of the ecological environment.
“Hey all, You might remember some of my posts previously on the statue but for those new Players I’m a member of The URGQ SCUBA Dive Club who are the custodians of Curtin Artificial Reef. The resting place for the Nautilus Statue,” started the post.
“I have been lucky enough to dive it at various times over the years but it’s been a while since I got back to it. Recently someone reached out and I was in the area for a Marine Debris Clean Up dive so I stopped by to check it out,” they explained before sharing a series of images including some a few days after it was sunk, 2.5 years later and over six years later.
— Ian Steelback (@ianstbck) June 22, 2022
“Didn’t have much time to hang about and get more pictures (was on a mission to clean rubbish!) and the visibility was a bit “meh”,” they continued. “You can see all the growth and might have noticed the shifting sands covering some of the Statue and Reef Ball Base (under the anchor.) This was expected due to the location and over time it will cover/uncover and provide plenty of habitat for various critters.”
The reef also includes a plaque with the names of the 42,006 summoners who contributed three or more points during Ocean Week 2015. “To earn a point, a player had to win a game of Blind Pick, Team Builder, or Twisted Treeline while playing as an Ocean Week Champion or in a premade group with someone playing an Ocean Week Champion.”
Explaining the purpose of the League Of Legends project, Riot explained: “The Nautilus reef will provide a place for marine life to shelter and grow. Some of the ways in which artificial reefs can promote underwater life include:
- Picking up plankton that move with ocean currents, thereby creating a feeding spot for small fish.
- Providing shelter for animals that don’t survive long in the open like eels
- Attracting fish that hunt around the reef
- Fostering a suitable breeding environment for all kinds of the above;
- Providing a firm foundation for algae, coral and sponges to grow on over time.”