Four sculptures in human forms, made of concrete, will be submerged in November into the Mexican Caribbean near Cancun.
The West Coast National Park that receives almost 300,000 tourists annually will eventually have 400 figures that will comprise the world's largest underwater museum, adding yet another attraction to the long list that already appeals to those buying Cancun real estate.
Each sculpture will be man-sized with a base of four square meters. There will be theme based galleries, such as an army of Mayan indigenous warriors and dream catchers based on messages in bottles. With the famed underwater sculpturer Jason de Caires Taylor directing the team, this will surely be a magnificent sight.
The National Park director Jamie González calculates that by April 2010 there will be some 250 sculptures in the underwater museum. The total cost of the project is about $350,000. This follows on from a project in 2005 when 110 hollow domes and concrete structures where submerged on park property to create an artificial habitat in the area known as Sac Bajo. A project that was partly in response to a cruise ship damaging precious coral reefs in the area. After a few years it was a top attraction.
The West Coast National Park of Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancun and Punta Nizuc has a challenge to divert
tourists away from natural habitats that are threatened without losing the $36 million the visitors bring into the area each year.
The museum's objective is to attract tourists in order to reduce damage on natural habitat in other areas. "The underwater museum will draw many tourists, allowing us to give a rest to the natural reefs. It's like a restoration process," National Park director, Jaime González, explained.
Preserving the reef and natural underwaters attractions in the area will help maintain the appeal of Cancun real estate, many property buyers come for the snorkeling, diving or other water activities.
Once the underwater museum opens, it will require divers to gain previous experience in artificial habitats, this will eliminate damage from tanks and fins. Also, all tourists will be required to wear life jackets for buoyancy while snorkeling to avoid submerging and crushing the coral.
Following these precautions the park will help extend the lifespan of the coral, and the protection of the area’s white sandy beaches that the Cancun real estate market is famed for. Amazingly humans are restoring the damage mankind has done to nature.