The Cancun Underwater Museum officially opened its doors on November 26, 2010, completing the exhibition titled “The Silent Evolution” by artist Jason deCaires Taylor. With 400 life-size sculptures submerged, this completed phase 2 of the world’s largest underwater museum, located in the beautiful waters of Cancun.
The National Park, located in Isla Mujeres Punta Cancun and Punta Nizuc, welcomes approximately 750,000 tourists a year and is now home to this impressive sculpture museum. Just days after the sculptures were submerged the welcoming they received from Mother Nature was amazing. There were hundreds of swarming gray angelfish that, up until now, were rarely seen around the Manchones area.
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 fiber and more than 120 submarine work hours, as well as the effort and dedication from a committed team with a dream that began almost two years ago.
The technique, developed by the sculptor, allows the creation of life-size figures that keep the models original gestures and positions. The sinking process to more than 30 feet of depth consists on placing the sculptures over a two-ton base that will be positioned safely on rocky surfaces to avoid any damage caused by waves.
The first sinking took place on November 14th, 2009. In the project’s first phase, under the supervision of the renowned artist and sub-aquatic sculpture Jason deCaires Taylor, three sculptures were submerged: “Coleccionista de Sueños” (Dream Collector), “Hombre en llamas” (Man on Fire) and “La Jardinera de la Esperanza” (The Gardener of Hope). The sculptures where placed near the natural reefs and close to marine life habitats in order to create a natural ecosystem that helps maintain corals and reefs in the best conditions.
In collaboration with marine biologists and other experts from the National Marine Park and Artificial Reefs, a company based in the USA, the sculptures have been designed to attract coral, but have also been immersed and positioned in such a way so as to contribute to the further development of different coral species.
These magnificent sculptures are available for tourists and visitors wishing to admire their originality, beauty, and uniqueness, while either snorkeling 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, although is highly recommended that visitors of the museum utilize an appropriate tour operator with trained professionals to enjoy this experience.