Artificial Island On 250,000 Recycled Floating Bottles

Spiral Island was a floating artificial island in a lagoon near Puerto Aventuras, on the Caribbean coast of Mexico south of CancĂșn. It was built by British eco-pioneer Richart Sowa beginning in 1998; he filled nets with empty discarded plastic bottles to support a structure of plywood and bamboo, on which he poured sand and planted numerous plants, including mangroves.

His Spiral Island, destroyed years later by a hurricane, sported a two-story house, solar oven, self-composting toilet and multiple beaches. His ultimate goal? To build the island bigger and bigger and finally float out to sea, traveling the world from the comfort of his own private paradise.

In late 2007 and 2008, Rishi Sowa built a new Spiral Island in the waters of Isla Mujeres, the "Island of Women", also near Cancun. The new Spiral Island is about 20 meters (60 feet) in diameter, and plants and mangroves are already growing on it. It contains about 100,000 bottles. The new island has beaches, a house, 2 ponds, a solar-powered waterfall/river, and solar panels. Volunteers helped with the project. Rishi will continue to make improvements to the Island, so it will always be a work of art in progress.

The Ripley’s Believe-it-or-Not video is a great introduction to the island.

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