Beyond the predictable Cancun experience of sun, sand and inebriation lies an unusual and wonderfully ethereal adventure at the world’s first underwater sculpture park.
Fusing art and conservation, Museo Subacuático de Arte is in fact an artificial reef populated with hundreds of statues cast from real people — mainly locals from the region.
Not only do the specially commissioned sculptures make for beautiful works of art, each is also created from specialized materials used to promote coral life. Some of the works span over 4,200 square feet of barren seabed and weigh over 200 tons. They help draw some of the 750,000 visitors to the region each year and promote the recovery of the natural reefs at nearby sites.
Mingle among the 400 life-sized casts of individuals that form The Silent Evolution (2010), a permanent monumental artificial reef in Mexico. Divers not only get to paddle up-close to these incredibly life-like sculptures, they can also take in the unexpected aquatic life forms that have become part of the works: fur of algae on a girl’s cheek, a starfish on a nun’s habit.
“It’s environmental evolution, art intervention as growth, or a balancing of relationships.” – Jason deCaires Taylor, artistic director of Museo Subacuático de Arte
The azure kingdom is a vision of modern-day Atlantis, with enthralling sights like baby fish seeking shelter within a television sculpture, and crustaceans setting up home in a life-sized replica of the classic Volkswagen Beetle. The sculptures are made from a special type of cement that is 10 times harder than its regular form and has a neutral PH, which is favorable to corals.
Museo Subaquático de Arte: Cancun National Marine Park; +52-998-881-2745