• Tracy Gunn

The Man on Fire (Hombre en Llamas); by Jason de Caire Taylor, in Isla Mujeres

Updated: Jul 23



Standing alone in the middle of the Manchones National Park, a lone statue looks defiantly ahead. This solitary and imposing figure is part of the MUSA collection but located separately in what is known locally as Manchones 1. Sitting at a depth of 9mt/30ft, he is a sight that both snorkelers and divers are able to appreciate.


The Man on Fire was submerged as part of the first expansion of MUSA in 2009 within the Manchones Underwater Gallery. He is a cast of a fisherman from Acapulco named Joaquín.


Like all the MUSA statues, he is made of marine concrete but he is seeded with fire coral (Millepora alcicornis). The concrete used for his cast made his skin appear textured and pitted which is ideal to promote coral growth. The statue has 75 sites drilled for the implantation of fire coral and each site has been seeded with rescued pieces of the coral.


Fire coral gains its name from its bright orange appearance and its ability to inflict severe burns or stings to bare skin. The dominant species is able to repel many other types of marine growth and was installed using long-nosed pliers and marine epoxy adhesive.




Millepora alcicornis

Fire corals are a genus of marine coral that have similar characteristics to coral but are in fact not true coral. They are more closely related to Hydra and Hydrozoans which make them hydro corals. This means that they are more closely related to jellyfish than real coral.






Depth

9 meters / 30 feet

Experience Level

Entry Level, Beginners, and all levels of certified divers

Average Visibility Underwater

20-30 mt / 66-99 feet

Average Water Temp

28 C°/ 82F°


To view the fish surveyed here with reef.org click HERE





  1. M.U.S.A. Museo Subacuático de Arte. (2022, April 25). Underwater Sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor. https://www.underwatersculpture.com/projects/musa-mexico/

  • Taylor, J., McCormick, C., & Scales, H. (2014). The Underwater Museum: The Submerged Sculptures of Jason deCaires Taylor (Illustrated ed.). Chronicle Books.

  • MUSA, Museo Subacuático de Arte “El Arte de la Conservación.” (2016). Grupo Regio



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