The Cancún Underwater Museum is a non-profit organization based in Cancún, Mexico devoted to the art of conservation.

Off the coast of Isla de Mujeres, the world's first underwater museum lies 28 feet beneath the surface of the blue ocean near the Mexican city of Cancun.

Arranged by English sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, the Cancun Underwater Museum features more than 460 statues and pieces of art, each made from PH-neutral concrete specifically designed to encourage marine life to grow — cultivating more marine plants and attracting fish to the region.

The Cancun Underwater Museum is home to life-sized sculptures, which are devoted to the art of marine conservation. Known as MUSA or Museo Subacuatico de Arte in Spanish, the one-of-its-kind underwater museum is a non-profit organization located in Mexico’s southeastern coastal city of Cancun.

The idea to start an underwater museum cropped up in 2008 when Jaime Gonzalez Canto noticed that the corals in Manchones Reef were being greatly damaged by tourist activities in the region.

The director of the Marine Park in Isla Mujeres, which is an island in the Gulf of Mexico, then thought to seek Jason deCaires Taylor’s help to lure tourists away from the natural reefs. Jason deCaires Taylor stepped in to help. An award-winning Guyanan-British sculptor, certified scuba-diving instructor, underwater photographer and a marine conservationist, Taylor is also the founder of the world’s first underwater sculpture park in West Indies.

Jason deCaires Taylor and Gonzalez Canto started materializing their idea of the underwater park and their work began slowly in 2009. By November of the same year, Taylor submerged four of his concrete sculptures into the ocean, out of the initial five hundred planned in total.

Later the next year, most of Taylor’s sculptures were placed three to six metres on the ocean floor, along with some more by local Mexican sculptors. By the year 2013, four hundred and eighty-seven of Taylor’s life-sized statues were added to the museum, which had officially opened to the public in the year 2010.

Along with Taylor’s artwork titled ‘The Silent Evolution’, Mexican artists have also contributed to the museum, where more than a hundred million tourists visit in a single year. 

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