The wild sight of subway cars being dumped into the ocean

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Subways Dumped In The Ocean

Ever wonder what happens to New York subways when they're out of service? Well, the truth probably isn't what you expect; The out-of-date cars are actually shipped out to sea and dumped in the Atlantic ocean.

It might sound like a pretty heinous act of pollution, but in reality, the subway cars create coral reefs, fostering new life on the ocean floor.

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Subways dumped into ocean
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The wild sight of subway cars being dumped into the ocean
An old New York City subway car is dropped from a barge into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Delaware, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008. The subway cars are used to form an underwater reef which is a habitat for sea creatures. (AP Photo/Mike Derer)
Water surges into an old New York City subway car which sinks in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Delaware, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008. The subway cars are used to form an underwater reef which is a habitat for all kinds of sea creatures and vegetation. (AP Photo/Mike Derer)
An old New York City subway car is dropped from a barge into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Delaware, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008. The subway cars are used to form an underwater reef which is a habitat for sea creatures. (AP Photo/Mike Derer)
One of 40 retired New York City subway cars is dropped into the water about five miles off of the coast of Ocean City, Md., Wednesday Nov. 26, 2008. The cars were sunk in an area known as the "Bass Grounds" to form a reef for marine habitat. (AP Photo/Chuck Snyder)
Decommissioned subway cars are loaded onto a barge for transportation in New York, Friday, Oct. 3, 2008. This particular load of cars is heading to the Atlantic Ocean off Delaware where it will be dumped into the ocean to provide a structure for the growth of underwater plant and animal life, which in turn will be enjoyed by fisherman and divers. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Decommissioned subway cars are loaded onto a barge, left, for transportation in New York, Friday, Oct. 3, 2008. This particular load of cars is heading to the Atlantic Ocean off Delaware where it will be dumped into the ocean to provide a structure for the growth of underwater plant and animal life, which in turn will be enjoyed by fisherman and divers. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
A barge carries 40 retired New York City subway cars near Ocean City, Md., Wednesday Nov. 26, 2008. The cars were sunk in an area known as the "Bass Grounds" to form a reef for marine habitat. (AP Photo/Chuck Snyder)
Decommissioned subway cars are stacked on a barge for transportation in New York, Friday, Oct. 3, 2008. This particular load of cars is heading to the Atlantic Ocean off Delaware where it will be dumped into the ocean to provide a structure for the growth of underwater plant and animal life, which in turn will be enjoyed by fisherman and divers. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
A man walks across a pile of decommissioned subway cars on a barge in New York, Friday, Oct. 3, 2008. This particular load of cars is heading to the Atlantic Ocean off Delaware where it will be dumped into the ocean to provide a structure for the growth of underwater plant and animal life, which in turn will be enjoyed by fisherman and divers. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
As a workman looks on, a New York City subway car disappear into the Atlantic Ocean after being pushed off a barge 19 miles east of Cape Henlopen, Del., Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2001. The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife sank 27 subway cars in 70-90 feet of water to form an artifical reef. (AP Photo/Roberto Borea)
An excavator pushes a New York City subway car into the Atlantic Ocean off a barge Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2001, 19 miles east of Cape Henlopen, Del. The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife sank 27 subway cars in 70-90 feet of water to form an artificial reef. (AP Photo/Roberto Borea)
As a workman looks on, two New York City subway cars disappear into the Atlantic Ocean after being pushed off a barge 19 miles east of Cape Henlopen, Del., Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2001. The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife sank 27 subway cars in 70-90 feet of water to form Artificial Reef Site 11. (AP Photo/Roberto Borea)
As a workman looks on, the last of 27 New York City subway cars disappears into the Atlantic Ocean after being pushed off a barge 19 miles east of Cape Henlopen, Del., Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2001. The Delaware Division off Fish and Wildlife sank 27 subway cars in 70-90 feet of water to form Artificial Reef Site 11. (AP Photo/Roberto Borea)
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Photographer Stephen Mallon snapped these dramatic images of the out-of-date cars as they splashed, gurgled and slipped into the water.

Petapixel.com says that "for three years, Mallon traveled to the places where the cars were being discarded in the Atlantic from the coast of Delaware to South Carolina."

These photographs will be exhibited at Kimmel Galleries at NYU from February 6 through March 15, 2015. These cars -- that in 2013 carried 1.7 billion riders -- are now sleeping with the fishes.


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