10 fascinating underwater statues you need to see (with photos)

10 fascinating underwater statues you need to see (with photos)

When you think you've seen everything strange on the planet, something new appears and surprises you more! Have you ever heard of underwater statues? If not, you're not alone. They are magnificent works of art that have found their way underwater. Humans and fish alike are fascinated by these mysterious artefacts.

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underwater statues
The Guardian of the Reef statue and the Amphitrite statue in Grand Cayman. Photo: @Cayman_Islands, @artemisneptune on Twitter (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Many living and nonliving things live in the oceans. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts to protect the environment, some continue to dump waste into the sea. However, the oceans can sometimes surprise you with amazing things underwater. Underwater statues, for example, provide a previously unseen perspective of the ocean floor.

Fascinating underwater statues you need to see

Why are there underwater statues? They are mostly there to relieve environmental pressure by diverting activity away from more natural reefs. These statues draw attention to themselves, reducing the amount of attention natural coral receives and thus encouraging coral growth. Below is a list of the top ten underwater statues you need to see.

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1. Christ of the Abyss – San Fruttuoso, Italy

underwater statues
Cristo degli abissi of San Fruttuoso, christ of the abyss. Portofino marine park, italy, mediterranean sea. Photo: Cristian Umili
Source: Getty Images

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Guido Galletti's Christ of the Abyss is a submerged bronze figure of Jesus Christ. The original cast is located in the Mediterranean Sea, off San Fruttuoso, on the Italian Riviera between Camogli and Portofino.

According to Atlas Obscura, the statue was sunk to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea to honour Dario Gonzatt, the first Italian to use scuba diving equipment. It was implanted 17 metres beneath the waters in August 1954 and is still there today.

2. Ocean Atlas – Nassau, The Bahamas

underwater statues
The Ocean Atlas in Nassau, Bahamas, New Providence. Photo: @PeronaSara, @Arzu30833630 on Twitter (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Ocean Atlas is located in Nassau, Bahamas, on the western coast of New Providence. In homage to the Ancient Greek tale of Atlas, the Titan who held up the skies, the artwork depicts a local Bahamian girl carrying the weight of the ocean above her.

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3. Amphitrite statue – Grand Cayman

underwater statues
The Amphitrite statue in Grand Cayman. Photo: @artemisneptune on Twitter (modified by author)
Source: UGC

What is Grand Cayman known for? The island is well-known for its beautiful beaches and historical landmarks. But did you know it has a hidden treasure underwater? The Amphitrite statue off Cayman Island is a 9-foot bronze mermaid monument by Simon Morris that is located fifty feet off the shore at Sunset House on Grand Cayman Island.

4. Guardian of the Reef statue – Grand Cayman

underwater statues
Guardian of the Reef statue in Grand Cayman. Photo: @Cayman_Islands on Twitter
Source: UGC

Simon Morris, a Canadian artist, created the statue of half Greco-Roman warrior and half seahorse. The statue was sunk at a depth of 65 feet off the island's Lighthouse Point, where it sits, resembling something from folklore. The entire structure stands around 17 feet tall and is supported by a four-foot plinth.

5. Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA) – Cancún, México

underwater statues
Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA) in Cancún, México. Photo: @ElCastorViajes on Twitter
Source: UGC

MUSA is a museum located beneath the Mexican Caribbean Sea, near Cancun, Isla Mujeres, and Punta Nizuc. According to Underwater Sculpture, this still-expanding Underwater Museum of Art houses over 500 life-size statues. A VW Beetle and a pair of massive hands have been added to the gallery of interesting concrete works. When talking about creepy underwater statues, MUSA's sculptures are definitely among them.

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6. Head of Caesarion – Alexandria, Egypt

underwater statues
Head of Caesarion, Cleopatra's and Julius Caesar's son in the Sunken city at the shores of Alexandria, Egypt. Photo: @n_santama on Twitter
Source: UGC

Heracleion, a drowned harbour 20 miles east of Alexandria, is home to ancient underwater statues, 2,000-year-old. The ruins, discovered in 1998 by marine archaeologist Franck Goddio, were destroyed by an earthquake in the second century BC. Among the ruins, though, is the enormous stone head of Caesarion, Cleopatra's son with Julius Caesar.

7. Underwater Grotto – Bohol, Philippines

underwater statues
Underwater Grotto in Bohol, Philippines. Photo: @Stevodadevo2 on Twitter
Source: UGC

The Philippine government constructed 14-foot monuments 60 feet below sea level, including The Blessed Virgin Mary and Santo Nio. They did this not only to boost the town's tourism industry but also to protect the town's natural resources. Artists built the religious statues of Our Lady of Danajon and Sto Nio on September 8 and October 18, 2010, respectively.

8. Underwater Museum of Cannes – France

underwater statues
Underwater Museum of Cannes in France. Photo: @designboom on Twitter
Source: UGC

Are these some of the world's most scary underwater statues? The Cannes Underwater Eco-Museum houses a collection of six massive, three-dimensional portraits, each over two metres tall and weighing 10 tonnes. The statues are located near Sainte-Marguerite, one of the Lérins Islands off the coast of Cannes, France.

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9. Yonaguni – Ryukyu Islands of Japan

underwater statues
Yonaguni Island is a submerged rock formation off the coast of Yonaguni, Japan's southernmost Ryukyu Islands. Photo: @Third_Eye_Seeks on Twitter (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Yonaguni Monument is a submerged rock formation off the coast of Yonaguni, Japan's southernmost Ryukyu Islands. According to geologist Robert Schoch, it is most likely natural. However, what produced the Asian Atlantis is still unknown.

This sandstone formation series contains far too many right angles, terraced structures, pillars, and other features to be the work of Mother Nature.

10. Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park – West Coast, Grenada

underwater statues
Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park in West Coast, Grenada. Photo: @marinamaral2
Source: UGC

Also known as the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park, the Molinere Bay is a collection of ecological underwater modern art constructed by British sculptor Jason deCaires. He placed concrete figures on the ocean floor, mainly human forms ranging from solitary individuals to a ring of children holding hands and confronting the ocean currents.

There has been some controversy about the park's purpose and if it is an underwater slave memorial. However, according to USA Today, the artist claims that it was not his intention to correlate with the middle passage but is nonetheless encouraged by how it has resonated differently within various communities.

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Frequently asked questions

  1. Why are there underwater statues? They are artificial structures created to ease pressure on natural reefs by diverting attention towards them as an attraction.
  2. Where are the underwater statues? They are spread worldwide, including the Caribbean, Italy and Japan coast.
  3. What is the largest underwater statue? According to Underwater Sculpture, The Ocean Atlas, located in Nassau, Bahamas, on the western coast of New Providence, weighs over sixty tonnes and reaches up to five meters.
  4. What city is underwater? According to The Times of India, Dwarka was discovered in 1988 and submerged about 100 feet beneath the Gulf of Cambay.
  5. Where is the underwater statue in the Bahamas? It is located in New Providence Island, off the Western Coast.
  6. Which country is sinking every year? According to NPR, Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, is the fastest sinking city in the world, at a rate of 6.7 inches per year.

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Underwater statues are among humanity's greatest achievements. These sculptures were intended to be both a conservation tool and a tourist attraction, but their impact has been far broader and more cultural than anticipated.

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Chris Ndetei (Lifestyle writer) Christopher Ndetei is a junior reporter writer who joined the Yen team in May 2021. He graduated from the Machakos Technical College in 2009 with a diploma in ICT. Chris has over two years of experience in content creation and more than ten working in the hospitality industry. He covers lifestyle/entertainment, focusing on biographies, life hacks, gaming and guides. In 2023, Christopher finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. You can reach him at chrisndetei@gmail.com

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