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A unique museum is located outside the coast of Ayia Napa, Cyprus. The only way to enter the museum is to wear a snorkel. The Museum of Underwater Sculptures Ayia Napa (MUSAN) was built by Jason deCaires Taylor, a photographer, sculptor, and environmentalist. His goal is to invite marine life to start living in the museum.
In the underwater museum stands 93 statues made from a combination of high marine stainless steel and pH neutral concrete. These sculptures act like an artificial reef, and deCaires Taylor hopes marine life will start to grow on them.
The sculptures are placed at 8-10 meters deep and are designed to attract a wide range of sea life. Because of the low percent of solid enough substratum on the sea bed, coral reefs have a hard time forming naturally. This problem makes artificial replacements an essential part of aquatic conservation.
deCaires Taylor’s previous projects have all been specially designed for the location they will be put in. These sculptures have a textured surface that allows coral, sponges, and other microscopic organisms to attach and grow. This will create homes and food sources for different marine life over time.
“A lot of sculptures transform, they have corals that grow on them, they have sponges that adhere to the surfaces,” says Jason to Euronews.green.
“They've become habitat spaces for marine life so that they almost work on a twofold purpose. You know, first as works of art, which mainly discuss social issues, but also as living, breathing artificial reefs.
MUSAN isn’t only there for marine life, but also to make people think.
“It's about inspiring people to watch what's going on, to hold people responsible for how our world is changing and to try and affect a better outcome,” Jason explains.