MUSA-The Underwater Museum of Art

Forbes has defined the Underwater Museum of Art (USA) in Cancun as being one of the world’s most distinctive travel attractions, and without a doubt, it needs to be seen to be believed. Situated within the barriers of the National Marine Park of Cancun, it is both an aesthetic success and a preservation effort that seeks to help rebuild coral reefs in close proximity.

Being placed in clear water no deeper than 20 feet/7 metres, it is a set up by British sculptor Jason DeCaires Taylor, a panorama of over 500 human icons collectively called The Silent Evolution.

The sculptures are life-size sentinels spread across around 1,380 square feet in different poses on the pristine seafloor, which represents mankind in all its exciting varieties. Made from concrete particularly mixed to enhance the adhesion and development of coral species, the figurines have grown to be a literal metaphor for the link between mankind along with the ocean.

As time passes, nature has started to reclaim the statues, with the slow progress of soft, algae on the face of a smaller statue or in the small branches of branching staghorn coral growing from the upper body and arms of an old man statue.