Published On: Tue, Jan 8th, 2019

In Cancun, eerie underwater sculptures attract divers, snorkelers — and fish!

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Longing for a sequel to last year’s Oscar winner for best picture, “The Shape of Water”? Here’s the next best thing: A visit to the MUSA underwater park off the coast of Cancun. The figure in the sculpture “Resurrection” by Jason deCaires Taylor in Punta Nizuc looks a lot like the marine creature in the hit movie. This one even sports an extra layer of algae. Perhaps Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro got inspired here, or perhaps you’ll be motivated to write some fan fiction? Or not. But it’s still a very cool thing to see.

Eerie. Creepy. Odd. Mystical. Alluring. Provocative. These are the adjectives that divers and snorkelers use to describe the undersea world of more than 500 pieces of art that grace the seafloor here. Launched in 2009 by Roberto Diaz Abraham, a sculptor and former president of the Cancun Nautical Association, and Jaime Gonzalez Cano, former director of the Cancun-Isla Mujeres National Marine Park, MUSA (Museo Subacuatico de Art) occupies more than 2,000 square meters and its artwork weighs more than 200 tons. This astonishing museum-in-the-sea is the largest and most ambitious underwater art installation in the world.

Given that most of the sculpted figures are life-size (residents of nearby Puerto Morelos posed as models, along with “Today” show anchors and a Victoria’s Secret model), but now sprout algae and coral polyps, you feel a bit like you’ve slipped into a forgotten, doomed city as you dive around pieces like “Silent Evolution,” featuring 450 figures, and “The Banker” (people with their heads buried in the sand.) Each piece is designed to tell a story — some obvious, some open to interpretation. There’s a VW Beetle sculpture, built to scale…

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