• Tracy Gunn

Urban Reef (Arricife Urbano); by Jason deCaire Taylor, in Isla Mujeres


Urban Reef collection by Jason deCaire Taylor. Photo credit Malek B Productions

Submerged during the second expansion of MUSA in 2011, there are two statues in the Urban Reef collection. Located in the section locally known as Casitas, these two statues are a favorite with divers and snorkelers.


Originally, Jason deCaire Taylor wanted to do a street with little houses lining both sides. The idea was to build a house for the fish, but in the end, only two houses were completed.


Submerged in 2011 in the Manchones National Park, these statues formed part of the second expansion of MUSA.



Urban Reef with the Intervention of Invaders or Arrecife Urbano con la Intervención de Invader

Urban Reef with the Intervention of Invader. Photo credit - Malek Bee Productions

This single-story house has a triangle-shaped roof that overhangs one side creating a little porch where fish are always found hanging out.

On the side of the house, there is a mosaic in the shape of a space invader. It was made in collaboration between Jason deCaire Taylor and a well-known urban artist who goes by the name "Space Invader". Much of Space Invaders' work is comprised of mosaic tiles and he has taken it upon himself to invade the world with his little aliens. There are three of these found within MUSA. One in the Silent Evolution, one on this house, and the last one is at the MUSA headquarters in Cancun.

You can see where he has placed his invaders around the world here.

The little alien on this house is mostly overgrown now with marine life but if you look closely, you can still find it.


The house itself is a single room without any windows, chimneys, or other adornment and it looks quite sterile in design compared to its more elaborate partner. There are openings on the roof and access in the walls for the occupancy of the fish that the house was designed for. Now there is plenty of plant growth on the marine grade material used to construct the house. The ocean has embraced the house and merged it into its surrounds making it look quite eerie to look at.


Urban Reef With Chimney or Arrecife Urbano (Con Chiminea).



Also a single-story structure but more elaborate, this house has a multi-level roof that seems to reflect multiple rooms of the house. There are windows with shutters and the roof appears shingled. One wall has long verticle windows and there is a door through which fish can swim in and out. The walls have horizontal slats in them that almost reflect the design of the hand grenades found in the same area. Marine life has made its home in these as well as throughout the house.


The best feature of this house is the chimney that has been added to the side of the house. It is designed to look like it is made of rocks and at the base of this chimney, there is a little opening into which you can place your alternate regulator. By purging your regulator in this opening, the bubbles flow up the chimney and come out the top in an imitation of smoke. It is an interactive feature of this statue loved by all who see it.


Fish can swim in and out of the windows of the house and plant life has grown all over the statue making it look old and weathered.


These statues are found between the Time Bombs and Seascapes and sit at 9 meters. They can be seen while snorkeling but can be appreciated best while diving.



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°

Dive Time

45 minutes (Parque National Rules)


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



DM Mapping Project by Javier Alvarez




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