The Cancun Underwater Museum Comes to Life

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This underwater sculpture museum located off the coast of Mexico

Cancun Underwater Museum - MUSA

Jason de Caires Taylor's newest sculptures are being assembled to complete a street or suburban complex. "Urban Reef," a collection of architectural structures designed for individual inhabitants of the reef system while "The Last Supper," depicts a dining table carved from a rock outcropping and is laid with plates and cutlery featuring a large bowl filled with fruit and hand grenades as its center piece.

Additional sculptures include, "Phoenix," the first kinetic sculpture in the MUSA collection, which is based on a female form whose wings are propagated with living purple gorgonian fan coral and "The Listener," which portrays a lone figure that is assembled entirely from casts of human ears molded during a workshop of local Cancun students.

Currently exhibiting over 400 sculptures, the world's largest underwater museum is located a short distance from the famous Manchones reef. With an estimated 750,000 annual visitors, the Underwater Museum strives to portray the cycle of life and the human condition and the additions to the project will be no different.

Since 2010, sculptures have been sunk to the bottom of the ocean in two phases. Marine life has slowly moved into the museum area, bringing life to "The Silent Evolution" - the name of the first phase of sculptures to make up the exhibition. With everything from life-size human sculptures, many of which were caste from Cancun locals, to a full VW Beetle that was especially designed to encourage lobsters to make their homes inside the vehicle, each statute is made with materials that are safe for the marine life and to encourage the formation of an artificial reef.

He has included real people, such as "Rosario," his Spanish teacher when first arrived in Mexico; and Lily Chacon, selected by Taylor to portray the image of the "Pregnant Woman."

Since its beginning, the Cancun Underwater Museum was created to facilitate the self-preservation of natural coral reefs in optimal conditions. With this goal, the National Marine Park took the challenge of redirecting tourists from fragile natural habitats to this exhibition of more than 400 magnificent sculptures that come to life in the depths of the sea. In this way, Taylor, also the museum's director has managed to preserve tourism and the USD $36 million in annual revenues tourism generates.

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Updated: November 27, 2016

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