AnalysisEnvironment and Climate ChangeFeaturesGlobal IssuesNatureWorld

The new use for abandoned oil rigs

As offshore oil and gas platforms come to the end of their working lives, the remarkable ecosystems beneath the waves come into their own.

The grey steel girders of Platform Holly rise 235ft (72m) above the waters of the Pacific Ocean, just a couple of miles off the Santa Barbara coast.

  • Isabelle Gerretsen
  • BBC

Above the water, this decommissioned oil rig is dull and lifeless, but the view below the surface is very different.

Beneath the waves, colourful fish, crabs, starfish and mussels congregate on the huge steel pylons, which stretch for more than 400ft (120m) to the ocean floor.

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