Beautiful and eerie images of the unique Cancun Underwater Museum

So-called ‘drip pricing’ can make it difficult to determine the total cost of airline tickets and vacation rentals.
Fair warning: Local wildlife can bring traffic to a standstill on Parks Highway 3 while you're driving through Denali National Park. Then again, that is part of this road's allure.
Slide 1 of 20: 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.
Slide 2 of 20: 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.
Slide 3 of 20: 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.
Slide 4 of 20: Marine life has already made itself at home, thriving on the sculptured bodies of Jason deCaires Taylor's The Silent Evolution. Gallery location: Manchones
Slide 5 of 20: This untitled figure stands beautifully in the sun's rays as they shine through the water above. Gallery location: Nizuc, snorkeling
Slide 6 of 20: An eerie, overgrown scene awaits at this seemingly abandoned dinner table dubbed The Last Supper. Gallery location: Nizuc, snorkeling
Slide 7 of 20: Inspired by the artist's grandson, Diego is a bright spot among more somber sculptures. Gallery location: Manchones
Slide 8 of 20: A speaker stands at a podium, perhaps ready to make a statement about contributions to conservation. Gallery location: Nizuc, glass bottom boat
Slide 9 of 20: Elier Amado Gil's statement-making Ice Breaker is surrounded by beautiful fish and sea plants. Gallery location: Nizuc, glass bottom boat
Slide 10 of 20: The ironic Inertia sits still as its surface serves as an ever-changing illustration of thriving marine life. Gallery location: Nizuc, snorkeling
Slide 11 of 20: Seascape is a beautifully-designed ring built to host underwater flora. Gallery location: Manchones
Slide 12 of 20: 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
Slide 13 of 20: Helping hands rise from the ocean floor, ready to extend an invitation to marine creatures needing a home. Gallery location: Punta Sam
Slide 14 of 20: This beautifully surreal scene can be enjoyed simply by snorkeling in shallow waters, just 11 feet deep.
Slide 15 of 20: Cleverly titled Urban Reef, this house, complete with bubbling chimney, serves as a unique underwater dwelling. Gallery location: Manchones
Slide 16 of 20: The enchanting Ocean Muse is a calming presence in the midst of more unsettling artwork. Gallery location: Nizuc, snorkeling
Slide 17 of 20: Titled Understanding, men are seated in a circle, possibly contemplating the purpose and meaning of their existence. Gallery location: Nizuc, snorkeling
Slide 18 of 20: As it turns out, their purpose is complex; a showstopping sculptural installation and artificial reef.
Slide 19 of 20: Time Bomb, consisting of bombs and mine, make a strong statement about Earth's environment. Gallery location: Manchones
Slide 20 of 20: 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

A deep dive into art

The ultimate win-win

Sunken galleries

The Silent Evolution by Jason deCaires Taylor

No Title by Elier Amado Gil

The Last Supper by Jason deCaires Taylor

Diego by Roberto Diaz Abraham

The Speaker by Jason deCaires Taylor

Ice Breaker by Elier Amado Gil

Inertia by Jason deCaires Taylor

Seascape by Karen Salinas

Vein Man by Jason deCaires Taylor

Blessings by Elier Amado Gil

Blessings continued

Urban Reef (House I) by Jason deCaires Taylor

Ocean Muse by Roberto Diaz Abraham

Understanding by Elier Amado Gil

Understanding continued

Time Bomb by Jason deCaires Taylor

Reclamation by Jason deCaires Taylor

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