MUSA - THE UNDERWATER
At the underwater museum of art MUSA you can see something truly unique! At this popular Isla Mujeres scuba dive site, you can expect a variation of sculptures in very thoughtful arrangements, creating a different scenery every few meters. The crystal clear turquoise waters, very little current, amazing visibility, at about 29c in a max depth of 8.5 m make the conditions perfect for a scuba dive learning environment or just for a fun dive or snorkel tour.
In 2008 Dr. Jaime Gonzalez Canto, Roberto Diaz Abraham, and Jason deCaires Taylor began plans for an underwater museum which would be formed by nature into a coral reef. They could see that the natural coral reef was becoming damaged by divers, anchors, and tourists and wished to find a way to alleviate this stress. Concrete reefs, placed in 2005 to divert divers and snorkelers away from Manchones reef after the damage by Hurricane Wilma, would take too many years to flourish and become an attraction.
A total of around 500 statues were planned for the end of 2010 with permits to sink 1200 statues in 10 different areas in the national park. Manchones alone exhibits 477 elements to date.
The underwater museum of art MUSA is to benefit the protection of the coral reefs and each statue is made with a PH neutral marine concrete. Coral, seaweed, and algae can grow and develop better than on an old ship. The statues also feature holes in them, which allow marine wildlife to colonize and feed off the coral. Coral reefs will increase but so will the marine life. After only a short time in the water, the statues began to change and nature started to do its part in growing. In 2015 250,000 people decided to go to MUSA instead of the natural reef so the stress to the natural reef is obviously decreased.