Museo Subacuático de Arte(MUSA)-The Underwater Museum
The Museo Subacuático de Arte(MUSA) is the world's biggest underwater museum, located off the shore of Isla Mujeres in Mexico's Riviera Maya. MUSA is a collection of approximately 500 life-size sculptures that are submerged 28 feet beneath the ocean's surface. That means the only way to see it is to go diving or snorkeling.
The project began in 2009 as an effort to protect the endangered Mesoamerican Reef (the second-largest barrier reef in the world) by diverting divers and snorkelers to MUSA. Roberto Díaz Abraham, one of the founders of the museum, describes it as an "art of conservation." Each sculpture holds special nooks and crannies that help to support the breeding of marine life while providing a safe habitat.
Jason deCaires Taylor, Roberto Daz Abraham, Salvador Quiroz Ennis, Rodrigo Quiones Reyes, Karen Salinas Martnez, and Enrique Mireles all contributed to the pieces in MUSA, although Taylor is responsible for the majority of them.
Cancun Marine Park is one of the world's most frequented bodies of water. It draws approximately 750,000 tourists each year, putting enormous strain on the area's natural resources.
The museum is split into two sections. Salon Machones is eight meters deep and ideal for snorkelers and divers alike. Only snorkeling is permitted at Salon Nizuc, which is four meters deep. The structures cover a total area of roughly 420 square meters of previously undeveloped seafloor. The museum has evolved into a sophisticated reef structure allowing marine species to colonize, dwell, and increase biomass on a large scale.
How were the sculptures installed underwater and what are they made up of?
Taylor(the maker) has based his sculptures on locals from Puerto Morelos, a nearby fishing town, and coated them in a marine-grade cement with a PH-neutral surface that encourages coral growth. Taylor had a special hoist created for the sculptures to lay them on the ocean floor, ensuring that none of them were harmed in the process. The sculptures were lowered using a forty-ton crane mounted aboard a commercial ferry. Some are so heavy that lift bags were needed to get them into the water.
Before the removal of the plaster and filling in the remaining statues, he let it cure. The statues have become coated in algae and coral as a result of being created using marine-grade cement, creating a magnificent image.
Some of the sculptures at MUSA-
Some of his pieces represent the emergence of fresh life. Coral fans that had broken off after a thunderstorm in Cancun were used to make "The Resurrection."
What's more intriguing is that each of his paintings is designed to aid in the conservation and knowledge of marine life. "The Ear" is a piece that includes a hydrophone and a hard disc. Researchers can use it to examine marine life using audio.
The Volkswagen, or "Anthropocene," is designed exclusively for lobsters. The shellfish can enter the sculpture through holes in the automobile, which is piled with shelving units where the critters like to sleep.
A humorous remark on mankind may be found in several of Taylor's works. After visiting a climate change conference in Cancun, he produced "The Banker," a sequence of men in business suits immersing their heads in the sand.
"It reflects the public acknowledgment of the problem, but when it comes to taking action, nobody wants to put their neck out and do anything about it," Taylor said of the project.
Until next time, stay tuned for such amazing underwater locations.