Destination Museum: 6 Great Underwater Museums

Destination Museum: 6 Great Underwater Museums

6 Great Underwater Museums

Do you sometimes feel like once you’ve seen one tourist destination, you’ve seen them all? Water is your next adventure. Explore archaeological ruins as well as contemporary art at these underwater museums. If you’re not SCUBA certified, most of these can also be seen by snorkeling or taking tours in glass-bottomed boats. Here are some real-life underwater activities you can add to your bucket list.

Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA), Mexico

MUSA

In 2009 a monumental underwater contemporary museum of art called MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte) was formed in the waters surrounding Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc. The Museum aims to demonstrate the interaction between art and environmental science and form part of a complex reef structure for marine life to colonize and inhabit whilst increasing biomass on a grand scale. All of the sculptures are fixed to the seabed and made from specialized materials used to promote coral life. The total installations occupy an area of over 420sq meters of barren substrate and weighing in at over 200 tons.

You can visit MUSA by:

  • Glass Water Bottom Boat
  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba Diving

Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA), Australia

Opening December 2019. The sites proposed for Museum of Underwater Art are primarily within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, near the coast of Townsville, Australia’s global centre for Marine Science. The project proposes a significant educational intertidal piece in near shore waters of the Strand beach in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, as a major educational piece for visitors to Townsville. Born 12 August 1974, is a British sculptor and creator of the world’s first underwater sculpture park – the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park and Museum in Grenada. Jason integrates his skills as a sculptor, marine conservationist, underwater photographer and scuba diving instructor in his work. The artworks will be at several locations along the Queensland coast, including the John Brewer Reef, and Magnetic Island, Palm Island and Townsville. The first, Ocean Siren, due to open in December 2019, is on the Strand in Townsville.

You will be able to visit MOUA by:

  • Glass Water Bottom Boat
  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba Diving
Magnetic Island

Baia Underwater Park, Italy

Baia

On a recent trip to Italy, I made sure to get some diving in. Most people know about Pompeii, the Roman city near Naples, but few know about Baia which was about three times the size of Pompeii. While Pompeii was covered in volcanic ash, Baia was abandoned in the 8th century and then submerged underwater. Today it can best be explored by snorkelers and divers. I heard about Baia and had to check it out for myself, it was swimming through a museum, amazing!

You can visit Baia Underwater Park by:

  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba Diving

Museo Atlántico Lanzarote, Canary Islands

The museum is 36 feet deep down pristine waters near the south coast of Lanzarote, in the Bahía de Las Coloradas, a place that was chosen mainly due to the physical characteristics of its sea bottom. It covers a 2,500-square-metre surface that divers and scuba divers will have access to. The museum will be a tourist and cultural attraction. The Museo Atlántico in Playa Blanca is the only underwater sculpture museum in Europe. It has been open to the public since 2 March 2016. Divers can dive here amongst the impressive sculptures of artist Jason deCaires Taylor, famous for his underwater art. He was behind the world’s first underwater sculpture park, off Grenada in the Caribbean and a submerged museum off the coast of Cancún, Mexico. The underwater museum in Lanzarote is situated in a protected area near Coloradas at a deph of 45 feet.

You will be able to visit Lanzarote by:

  • Scuba Diving
  • Free Diving
Museo Atlántico Lanzarote

Monterroso’s Underwater Museum, Honduras

Bay Islands Underwater Museum

In Sandy Bay, off the coast of Roatan, Honduras, snorkelers can spot authentic pieces, including pre-Columbian burial masks and 17th-century sundials, along with replicas of Spanish galleon ships and Mayan-era monuments. Entering the warm waters of Roatàn, you will find the place where the British moved the Spanish settlers who would dominate the island. The museum has a Spanish galleon with guns and a few other pieces that all but transport you back in time. It also has samples of the canoes that settlers of African descent used for transportation and fishing. A Mayan cemetery can also be found beneath the waves. In addition to the sculptures and artifacts, you can also find tropical fish living in the Mesoamerican barrier that surrounds the island. There are aquatic turtles, stingrays, and other tropical fish that call the reef home.

You can visit Monterroso’s Underwater Museum by:

  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba Diving

Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park, Grenada

One of our most popular snorkeling sites is an underwater gallery of sculptures in our Molinere Beauséjour Marine Protected Area, that very much reflect Grenada’s culture. Fashioned from a variety of media but predominantly from simple substrates including concrete and rebar, they create an ideal substrate, relatively fixed and permanent, on which marine life may develop. They are sympathetically located to enhance the reef, making natural use of its varied topography of craggy gullies and sun-dappled sandy patches. As artificial reefs, these sculptures are proving highly successful so far in attracting a stunning array of varied marine life. In doing so and attracting visitors, they have indeed fulfilled a role in easing the environmental pressure on other reefs in the locality. A key aspect to the sculptures’ appeal has been the dynamic changes brought about by being exposed to the power of the ocean. Unique natural forces including sea surge, wave action and currents have imposed their own influence and changes on the sculptures.

You can visit Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park by:

  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba Diving
  • Free Diving
Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park
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