What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever seen under water? Could it be a human sculpture, a park bench, a military tank or an underwater post office?
Don’t worry, they’re more fascinating than terrifying. This human sculpture – made from casts of real life people – can be found underwater off the east coast of Mexico, near Cancun. It’s titled ‘The Silent Evolution’ and was created by artist Jason deCaires Taylor, with the goal of providing relief to the tourist-packed natural reefs in the area. You’ll find more of deCaires Taylor’s underwater works in Grenada, the Canary Islands (see below) the Bahamas.
Since 2013, off the coast of Pondicherry, the beautiful Temple Reef has been home to all kinds of marine life – and it attracts a huge amount of divers. The reef was constructed using artificial but recycled materials, like concrete, trees, shrubs and even iron bars. Groupers, manta rays and eels can all be spotted here.
Just off the southern shores of Yonaguni Island (one of Japan’s Ryukyu Islands), you’ll find this mammoth underwater rock formation, with huge steps like a pyramid and even noticeable pillars. It was discovered back in 1987, but no one really knows what it is – whether it’s a natural rock formation that’s perhaps been ‘sculpted’ or actual evidence of a lost civilisation.
Ever wanted to swim amongst benches, wooden bridges and even park trails and trees? Melting snow from the surrounding mountains of Grüner See (or Green Lake) in Styria send this regular park plunging underwater every year from May to June, making it a once-amazing spot for divers. Now, to preserve the area, diving is banned, but visiting is still possible.
Key West, Florida, is a supreme seaside holiday spot and if you happen to be there, you should take a dive down to see the Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg. Located in the National Marine Sanctuary, this military ship was deliberately sunk by authorities in 2009 with the hope of reducing pressure on nearby natural reefs.
He’s back! If the human sculpture installation (above) isn’t enough for you, make sure you head to Museo Atlantico, off the Spanish island of Lanzarote, for a cultural dive. Jason deCaires Taylor’s underwater museum here features a variety of concrete statues and sculptures, many of which depict and connect to issues of modern life, such as the refugee crisis, and our obsession with social media.
Yep, 25 of them are underwater, and they’re all serving as artificial reefs! Cool, huh? These decommissioned Thai military tanks were cast into the Gulf of Thailand in 2010 to aid marine life and stop natural reefs becoming further damaged by natural algae bleaching. A similar thing was done with military tanks in 2009 in South Carolina, too. Talk about recycling!
Keen to mail a postcard underwater? You can at this underwater post office! This unique holiday experience can be had at Hideaway Island Marine Sanctuary, which invites participants (divers or snorkellers) to post a waterproof postcard beneath its waters. Of course, much tropical coral and fish can also be glimpsed in the sanctuary, and taking a waterproof camera is recommended!