Cancún Underwater Museum offers a unique experience to visitors, combining breathtaking artistry with a call to protect the planet. Best way to celebrate Earth Day 2019? We bet! By Shrimayee Thakur

View this post on Instagram

Meeting the locals 🇲🇽 #mexico #cancun

A post shared by Gunhild pedersen ✌️ (@gunhildpedersen) on

The Cancun Underwater Museum, also known as Museo Subacuático de Arte, or MUSA, is a non-profit organisation based in Cancun, Mexico, founded by Roberto Díaz Abraham, former President of the Cancun Nautical Association and Jaime González Cano, Director of the National Marine Park. One of the largest underwater artificial art attractions in the world, the museum houses over 500 life-sized and monumental sculptures, most of which have been created by British sculptor, Jason deCairnes Taylor. The sculptures are made of special materials, meant to promote coral life, and occupy a space of over 420sq metres, weighing over 200 tons.

Taylor’s sculptures showcase humans interacting with nature in both positive and negative ways, showing how humans can coexist with nature in harmony, as well as how humans have damaged nature, specifically coral reefs. Taylor’s sculptures serve as artificial reefs, encouraging marine ecosystems to flourish on an otherwise unstable ocean floor, their rough structure helping coral larvae to get a secure hold and grow. They simultaneously display Taylor’s faith and frustration with humans.

Earth Day 2019
The Resurrection

Memorable sculptures include ‘No Turning Back’, a melancholy female form sitting just beneath the sea’s surface, with the flickering rays of the sun on her curved back. Her sadness mirrors that of the sculptor over the destruction of Caribbean reefs. ‘Vein Man’, constructed out of highly developed marine stainless steel, is a structure made into a network of tubular highways, meant for Fire Coral to travel along. The coral’s Latin name, Millepora, means a thousand pores, which is fitting as it closely resembles human skin. It is not the only sculpture in the collection to make use of Fire Coral. ‘Self-Immolation’ is a sculpture depicting a solitary burning man, made of pH neutral marine cement. It is a reference to the use of self-immolation as a political statement, and a protest against the loss of natural marine habitats. Over time, it is predicted that it will be overrun by Fire Coral, lending it a bright yellow hue. Millepora is also known to inflict painful stings, similar to burns, on the human skin. ‘The Resurrection’ is a winged sculpture, using live purple Gorgonian fan coral, which had to be rescued after being displaced and damaged due to storm activity. In contrast to ‘No Turning Back’, this sculpture’s message is one of hope and regeneration.

View this post on Instagram

Is this art? or is it part of a reef?🤔 It's both! . This is a sculpture from The Silent Evolution, a collection of art that consists of hundreds of statues standing at the bottom of the Caribbean🌊 . The best part about them is that they act as artificial reefs; they host fish, lobsters, eels, and more creatures that lost their home reefs due to coral bleaching😞 . 📷Stalk @christophercruuzz for more pics of MUSA . & learn more about this project on the blog! (link in bio) . . . . . #reef #reeftank #coral #saltwater #underwater #underwaterphotography #diving #scuba #scubadiving #dive #padi #instaphoto #fotografia #color #camera #roamtheplanet #exploremore #traveldeeper #bbctravel #exploringtheglobe #flashesofdelight #finditliveit #theoutbound #theprettycities #tasteintravel #visualoflife #welivetoexplore

A post shared by Cancun Water Sports⚓ (@aquaworldcancun) on

Visitors can explore the beautiful underwater museum in a glass bottom boat, an enclosed crystal structure allowing visitors of all ages to have a truly unique experience.

Related: NASA Reports That Earth Is Literally A Greener Place Than It Was 20 Years Ago