How long has it been since we looked into special-interest news involving LEGO, but not necessarily involving The LEGO Group? Here’s one interesting tidbit courtesy of BBC. Usually when LEGO and the sea are mentioned together, one thinks of LEGO pieces polluting the ocean. The nightmare of plastic pollution remains very palpable worldwide, even if LEGO is taking steps towards greener materials. There’s no way LEGO can benefit oceanic life-forms like coral reefs, can they? Well according to researchers in Singapore, some throwaway LEGO bricks can be repurposed to save corals. The island of Singapore has reefs that need saving.
According to the report, scientists from the National University of Singapore found an ingenious method of re-growing corals. Since these creatures need to attach to a solid surface underwater, why not use LEGO bricks? Their research teams scour the reefs outlying Singapore for breakaway pieces of coral. They attach these to LEGO pieces attached to string, and leave them in lab aquariums where they would grow. The grown coral fragments can then be taken back to Singaporean waters for transplanting. The LEGO-piece aquarium growth setup was tested for its utility in vertical farming, growing more coral in limited aquarium space.
Singapore’s usage of anything on hand to salvage their coral reefs is understandable. Their island nation’s waters are home to a third of all 800 coral species worldwide. Their reefs suffered in decades past due to land reclamation. So the usage of LEGO pieces to aid in vertical coral farming is commendable. One hopes the idea works, and probably be looked at by other coral conservation efforts around the globe. A LEGO Ideas submission in the Third 2021 Review Stage might jive with this initiative.