Richard Branson Built a Giant Kraken Sculpture on an Old Ship for You to Swim Through
Richard Branson is worth approximately $5.1 billion, so he can do pretty much whatever he wants with his coin, like partner with Elon Musk to build a high-speed transit system. But while the Virgin Hyperloop One could potentially change the way humans travel, another Branson splurge—a giant kraken built on top of an old-ass boat—probably won’t. Still cool, though.
The 67-year-old entrepreneur recently bought the Kodiak Queen, a one-time Navy fuel barge that survived the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. After World War II, the ship became an Alaskan fishing boat and eventually wound up in a junkyard in Road Town, Tortola, the capital of the British Virgin Islands. That’s where historians spotted it and suggested that Branson scoop it up and restore it as an artificial reef, which I imagine is the equivalent of me asking my crazy-rich friend to buy me a Lamborghini for art purposes.
Over nine months, local artists and divers gutted the ship and made it diver-friendly, and also built an accompanying giant kraken sculpture out of rebar and mesh. This past summer, the restoration team set the Kodiak Queen out to sea and sunk it with the squid monster on top, giving the historical ship a proper burial in the Caribbean, providing explorers with an underwater playground, and creating a new habitat for aquatic species.
As for that kraken, because I know you’re curious, the tentacle-like tubes are meant for swimming through to explore the art located on other sections of the boat. Check out more photos over at DesignBoom, and start scouting other cool Caribbean relics you think Richard Branson should buy. He’s probably game.