Visitors to Cancun will have to don snorkel gear if they want to check out its latest museum.
Diving into the Caribbean they will see the eerie figures that make up Mexico’s Subaquatic Sculpture Museum – the world’s largest underwater museum.
In November the first of 400 sculptures will be placed underwater off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsular to encourage visitors away from the damaged coral reefs in the West Coast National Park.
The figures will be made out of PH neutral concrete to encourage coral reefs and marine life to grow. Due to the growth, their appearance will constantly change with time.
Nearly 300,000 visitors flock to the area each year to explore the white sands and turquoise Caribbean sea, but they are causing damage to marine life.
Jaime Gonzalez, director of the West Coast National Park, said: ‘If they swim near the corals, the divers with little experience might kick them with a fin or hit them with the oxygen tank.
‘Before it was declared a park, the tourists even climbed up the corals and walked on top of them, breaking and shattering them.’
But Mr Gonzalez is confident the museum will help to restore the natural reefs.
‘The underwater museum will draw many tourists, allowing us to give a rest to the natural reefs. It’s like a restoration process.’
He added: ‘By becoming healthier, the coral reefs will be more resistant to hurricane damage.’
Extreme weather is a major cause for concern in Mexico’s Caribbean and the effects of global warming could cause more intense and frequent hurricanes in the future.
The potentially coral-saving project will be overseen by famous underwater artist Jason de Caires Taylor, who created the world