Underwater museum to whet your cultural appetite

Mexico’s Cancun now has a museum that will give you a true sinking feeling.

It’s the Cancun Underwater Museum which has officially opened its dorsals, I mean doors, with an exhibition titled “The Silent Evolution” by artist Jason deCaires Taylor.

This exhibition comprises 400 life-size submerged sculptures which completes phase 2 of the world’s largest underwater museum.

The Underwater Musuem is located in the crystal clear waters of  the National Marine Park which is on the West Coast of Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancun and Punta Nizuc.  This Park already welcomes approximately 750,000 tourists a year. The main gallery is formed by 400 life-size figures, based on real people. Its building required 18 months of hard work, 120 tons of cement, 400 kg of silicone, 3,800 glass fibre and more than 120 submarine work hours, as well as effort and dedication from a committed team with a dream, that began almost two years ago.

Unbelievably, just days after the sculptures were submerged, they were visited by hundreds of swarming ‘grey angel’ fish, which are rarely seen around the area.

The technique, which was developed by deCaires Taylor, allows for the creation of life-size figures that can be sunk to more than 10 metres of depth.  The figures are positioned onto a large base, which is designed to avoid any damage caused by waves. Not only can The Underwater Museum can be appreciated from the bottom of the sea, but the sculptures are placed in a way that looks like a human eye as seen from the air.

The project is backed by Cancun’s Ministry of Environment and its Nautical Association and has required an investment of more than US$350,000 in order to allow the natural reefs that surround the sculptures, to remain untouched. That is why this Marine Park was up for the challenge and developed a way to deviate tourists from the natural habitats, through coral reefs, without having to lose its visitors and the US$36 million that these represent in annual income. .

These magnificent sculptures will be available for tourists and visitors that wish to admire the originality, beauty and uniqueness of these works of art, while snorkelling or diving in the sub aquatic museum, as one of the many activities to do in Cancun and Isla Mujeres. Entrance to the museum is free, however, visitors with little diving experience should be accompanied by a local tour operator who has trained professionals in order to be able to enjoy this experience to the maximum.

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