Another world exists at the bottom of the lakes, rivers and oceans that cover roughly 70 per cent of the surface of the planet. Despite being full of life, these bodies of water hide away many artifacts that escape the notice of those of us on land. Think of the Titanic, the many vestiges of the Second World War that lie in the sea, and objects deliberately left there for the pleasure of divers.


Chris Roxburgh, a diver passionate about Lake Michigan near Old Mission Bay, was surprised to discover one: a 1979 Ford Pinto.

According to legend in this part of the world, this compact car was abandoned on a frozen lake and simply sank through the melting ice. Because of the Pinto’s bad reputation, one might think that its owner purposely placed it there out of spite, but some clues suggest otherwise.

Like what, you ask? The engine was removed and it seems so were the windows in order to allow nature to take over the cabin as well as the bodywork. That’s what a lot of quagga mussels did, as they are known to be able to survive in cold water and like to stick to solid surfaces. In one year they can produce one million eggs, which is why this Pinto has been so thoroughly colonized.


The result, we must admit, is spectacular. In a video the Detroit Free Press amusingly titled Mussel Car, you’ll see how this Pinto has been transformed into a beautiful, artificial coral reef that will serve the aquatic nature for a few more decades.