Beautiful and eerie images of the unique Cancun Underwater Museum

  • A deep dive into art

    The Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA), just off the coast of Cancun, is a museum unlike any other. It's made up of over 500 life-sized sculptural installations – all sitting on the bottom of the ocean and accessed only by scuba diving, snorkeling or adventuring via glass bottom boat.  Visitors will enjoy scenes like the one pictured here, a sculpture entitled Anthropocene that has become a home for various sea life.

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Jason deCaires Taylor/The Stills

  • The ultimate win-win

    The bewitching MUSA is more than an art museum; it's an act of conservation.  Drawing visitors away from Cancun's natural reefs, which are suffering due to heavy tourism, MUSA serves as an alternative attraction.  Even better, the sculptures are all attached to the ocean floor and composed of materials that encourage coral reef formation, creating new places for sea life to flourish. 

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Jason deCaires Taylor/The Stills

  • Sunken galleries

    The museum is divided into three galleries: Manchones, Nizuc and Punta Sam. Nizuc is 4 meters deep and is best viewed via snorkeling or from the comfort of a glass bottom boat. Punta Sam is just 3.5 meters deep and is ideal for snorkeling. Manchones is the deepest gallery at 8 meters and is best enjoyed by scuba diving.

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Jason deCaires Taylor/The Stills

  • The Silent Evolution by Jason deCaires Taylor

    Marine life has already made itself at home, thriving on the sculptured bodies of Jason deCaires Taylor's The Silent Evolution  Gallery location: Manchones

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Jason deCaires Taylor/The Stills

  • No Title by Elier Amado Gil

    This untitled figure stands beautifully in the sun's rays as they shine through the water above.   Gallery location: Nizuc, snorkeling

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Elier Amado Gil/The Stills

  • The Last Supper by Jason deCaires Taylor

    An eerie, overgrown scene awaits at this seemingly abandoned dinner table dubbed The Last Supper.   Gallery location: Nizuc, snorkeling

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Jason deCaires Taylor/The Stills

  • Diego by Roberto Diaz Abraham

    Inspired by the artist's grandson, Diego is a bright spot among more somber sculptures.   Gallery location: Manchones

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Roberto Diaz Abraham/The Stills

  • The Speaker by Jason deCaires Taylor

    A speaker stands at a podium, perhaps ready to make a statement about contributions to conservation.   Gallery location: Nizuc, glass bottom boat

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Jason deCaires Taylor/The Stills

  • Ice Breaker by Elier Amado Gil

    Elier Amado Gil's statement-making Ice Breaker is surrounded by beautiful fish and sea plants.   Gallery location: Nizuc, glass bottom boat

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Elier Amado Gil/The Stills

  • Inertia by Jason deCaires Taylor

    The ironic Inertia sits still as its surface serves as an ever-changing illustration of thriving marine life.   Gallery location: Nizuc, snorkeling

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Jason deCaires Taylor/The Stills

  • Seascape by Karen Salinas

    Seascape is a beautifully-designed ring built to host underwater flora.   Gallery location: Manchones

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Karen Salinas/The Stills

  • Vein Man by Jason deCaires Taylor

    The haunting Vein Man will soon be overtaken by all manner of sea life, transforming into a more uplifting image of bustling life and hope.   Gallery location: Nizuc, glass bottom boat

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Jason deCaires Taylor/The Stills

  • Blessings by Elier Amado Gil

    Helping hands rise from the ocean floor, ready to extend an invitation to marine creatures needing a home.   Gallery location: Punta Sam

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Elier Amado Gil/The Stills

  • Blessings continued

    This beautifully surreal scene can be enjoyed simply by snorkeling in shallow waters, just 11 feet deep.

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Elier Amado Gil/The Stills

  • Urban Reef (House I) by Jason deCaires Taylor

    Cleverly titled Urban Reef, this house, complete with bubbling chimney, serves as a unique underwater dwelling.   Gallery location: Manchones

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Jason deCaires Taylor/The Stills

  • Ocean Muse by Roberto Diaz Abraham

    The enchanting Ocean Muse is a calming presence in the midst of more unsettling artwork.   Gallery location: Nizuc, snorkeling

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Roberto Diaz Abraham/The Stills

  • Understanding by Elier Amado Gil

    Titled Understanding, men are seated in a circle, possibly contemplating the purpose and meaning of their existence.   Gallery location: Nizuc, snorkeling

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Elier Amado Gil/The Stills

  • Understanding continued

    As it turns out, their purpose is complex; a showstopping sculptural installation and artificial reef.

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Elier Amado Gil/The Stills

  • Time Bomb by Jason deCaires Taylor

    Time Bomb, consisting of bombs and mine, make a strong statement about Earth's environment.    Gallery location: Manchones

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Jason deCaires Taylor/The Stills

  • Reclamation by Jason deCaires Taylor

    A woman throws her gaze to the sky with intensity and perhaps hopefulness that the sea will once again be reclaimed by its inhabitants.   Gallery location: Nizuc, snorkeling

    Photo courtesy of MUSA/Jason deCaires Taylor/The Stills


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