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The First Underwater Museum, Canary Islands, Lanzarote, Spain

The first underwater museum has opened in EuropeThanks to the Jason DeCaires Taylor, a renowned British artist, you would now be able to enjoy swimming among the fishes and be in the presence of more than 300 speculating art sculptures. Named as one of the top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic, “MUSEO ATLANTICO” is one of a kind submerged museum on the south coast of Canary Islands, Lanzarote, Spain which should be a must on everyone’s bucket list.

Swimming under the serene depths of the Atlantic Ocean amidst life sized human artworks is no doubt a once in a lifetime experience.The work on this projected started 2 years ago, when the artist decided that he not only wanted to show his love for art but also his sincerity of saving the aquatic biodiversity. By depicting scenes from the everyday life of a person, he wanted to inspire people to know more about he oceans and make them realize the threat they are posing to the natural habitat.

The sculptures not only spark a thought over the art but also in the preservation of the marine life. Each sculpture beneath the waves has its own significant value and passes a valuable message. All the sculptures are thought provoking but there are certain artworks that stand out. As a tribute to the recent migration crisis, there is an installation called “the Raft of Lampedusa”, which shows 13 refugees fleeing in a sculpted boat. Another one named portal seems to be a mirror reflecting the waters of the Atlantic and at the same time acting as a botanical garden to attract aquatic animals like sea urchins and octopus. “The Immortal Pyre” shows the scene o death and the bed of sticks acts as a home to a variety of sea creatures.

The latest addition to the artworks is” Crossing the Rubicon”, consisting of 35 human size figures walking towards a gateway. Jason his project makes use of non-toxic environmental friendly and PH neutral materials which causes no harm to the ocean waters but also work as an artificial reef by attracting the aquatic life toward it and making his art a part of the aquatic biodiversity. According to a statement released by the officials at the Atlantic museum, the sculptures have already been home to rare aquatic animals like angel sharks, schools of barracuda and sardines, octopus and butterfly rays and shown an increase of 200% in marine biodiversity.

Each sculpture carries its own unique significance and passes a message along its way. The human size sculptures were created with the models of the local people who provided a life size caste.The museum is open to public on weekdays and there are arrangements for all to see the underwater art. People who are trained in scuba diving and snorkeling can immerse themselves in the awe presence of the sculptures under water by spending €12 (AUS$17 or US$12.80). The site provides with all the guidance and equipment’s required. For other tourist’s boats with glass bottoms are available to experience the serene presence of the underwater masterpieces.

Images: EPA, Barcroft