Underwater Statues May Help Save Our Coral Reefs
Ally Hirschlag - Upworthy
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January 10, 2017

An underwater art museum, teeming with life | Jason deCaires Taylor (TED)

English-Guyanese artist Jason deCaires Taylor is doing his part to save the reefs with these incredible underwater sculptures.

Due to climate change and overfishing, 20% of coral reefs worldwide have disappeared in the last 30 years. An estimated 75% of what's left of them is endangered. It's a scary thought, especially considering that marine and human life rely on these reefs that are home to over 1 million aquatic species, help protect our coasts from storm damage, and sustain millions of jobs around the world.

Luckily, there are a lot of smart people like Taylor who are working on ways to reverse the damage.

The sculpture's texture can even influence the coral's direction, Taylor explained to The Guardian. For example, a smooth part of a sculpture means "you’ll get coral spawning [...] It’s a bit like our own lives — part of it is what flows in your direction, what nutrients come your way, and part of it is random experience."

Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA), an underwater sculpture museum that features Taylor's work off the coast of Cancun in Mexico, offers glass-bottom-boat, snorkeling, and scuba-diving tours so visitors can get an up-close look — under close supervision of course.

"[The] sculptures are as vulnerable as the natural reef," writes Karla Munguia Colmenero, PR coordinator for MUSA, in an email. "They need care, they need to be taken seriously."

Taylor's work can be seen a number of places around the world, both above and below the water, including Greece, London, and Canterbury.

Read the rest and see photos at Upworthy

Related: Dive Into the Ocean to Find the Bold, Breathtaking and Transformational Sculptures of Jason deCaires Taylor (Crixeo)

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