MUSA, Museo Subacuático de Arte, an Underwater Museum
In 2009, the world’s largest underwater museum, Museo Subacuático de Arte, was created by Jason deCaires Taylor in the beautiful turqoise blue Caribbean waters surrounding Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc. In this underground museum there are currently over 403 permanent life-size underwater sculptures of mostly people, animals, and ordinary everyday objects such as desks, books, bottles, potted plants and more. These sculptures are made of materials that will attract coral and will change in looks over the years. Local artists have also been invited to add additional sculptures, although it is already one of the largest and most ambitious underwater artificial art attractions in the world.
Sitting 12 – 20 feet below the surface of the Caribbean, the underwater museum is viewable only by snorkelers and divers to the area. It’s eery seeing life-like scullptures of men and women in the quiet underwater world with fish swimming nearby. A woman in an evening gown, a man sitting at his desk, a large dog lying on his side sleeping are some of the normal scenes one might see in a traditional, but not underwater, environment. The Museum aims to demonstrate the interaction between art and environmental science by creating a complex reef structure for marine life to colonise and inhabit. The 400+ statues installed on the seabed are cast from real Mexican people.
The goal of this art-eco project is to ease pressure on the nearby natural reefs which are struggling to deal with the three-quarters of a million water-going tourists who flock to the area every year. In addition the new sculptures will produce a coral reef system and attract a variety of aquatic creatures to the Cancun and Isla Mujeres National Marine Park.
The National Marine Park, home to MUSA, is one of the most visited stretches of water in the world with over 750,000 visitors each year. Jason explains that the statues are meant to represent a ‘cross-section of society’.The sculptures have been made from a special type of cement which is 10 times harder than the normal kind and has a neutral PH, which is favourable to corals. The statues are reinforced by rigid fibreglass with similar properties to rock so they remain in place. Anchored to the rocky sea bed 10 metres below the surface using a special drill, fused together and weighing over 120 tons in total, it is hoped the new reef can even weather out hurricanes and storms that occasionally hit the area.
There are 4 parts, or installations to the Museum: Read detailed descriptions of La Jardinera de la Esperanza, Coleccionista de los Sueños, Hombre en Llamas and The Silent Evolution all created by Jason deCaires Taylor. The Silent Evolution, his most ambitious work to date, forms a vast gathering of people aiming to define a new era of living in a symbiotic relationship with nature.
Enjoy the Underwater Museum and Stay With Us in Playa del Carmen!
Stay in nearby Playa del Carmen, 30 minute drive from the Underwater Museum, and enjoy our beaches and night life. Contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org for rates and availability at El Taj Ocean, Porto Playa, Maya Villa, El Taj Beach, and Villas Sacbe, or call 630-664-3904. All properties are 4 & 5 star, on or just off the beach, and offer complimentary beach chairs and complimentary use of The Gym. Transportation to MUSA is easily available and we’ll help arrange it for you!