What you see is not part of an extravagant art project. What you see is an underwater museum and at the same time, an artificial coral reef installation. These statues are meant to attract tourists and give the damaged natural coral reef the space to breath and recover.
‘I believe they promote hope and recovery, and underscore our need to understand and protect the natural world’ says Jason deCaires Taylor for Diver Magazine. Taylor is an artist who used to be a scuba diving instructor. That made him develop a strong interest in conservation, underwater naturalism and photography.
His latest and most ambitious project is located in Mexico and it’s probably the largest underwater sculpture museum and it is located somewhere off the coast of Cancun and on the western coast of Isla Mujeres. Previously, his sculptures have been placed in the world’s first public underwater sculpture park, which is in Molinere Bay, Grenada.
Seeing these sculptures underwater is unusual and discovering them has a certain charm, reminding of lost civilizations. Laying more than 5 meters deep under the ocean, they appear closer and larger than they actually are. And all of them are based on living people who were life casted.
This underwater world is almost entirely made of inert materials, a mix of marine grade cement, sand and micro-solica mixed into pH neutral concrete further on reinforced with fiberglass rebar. Its change process started the moment it was sunk into the ocean. Soon enough their will become living artificial reefs, and lobsters and crabs will make homes into their structures.