10 Amazing Underwater Museum Dives


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The ocean is a spot of marvel, from delicate reefs to intriguing wrecks and vibrant critters. It’s not that we want extra, however typically it’s enjoyable to discover one thing totally different — like a visit to an underwater museum.

Starting from modern artwork to submerged cities, underwater museums mix exhibitions with the great thing about the pure world. And, as erosion and coral progress take maintain, many artefacts turn into ever-changing elements of the native ecosystem. Actually, many museums are created as artificial reefs to help conservation:

  • Websites are usually chosen for the shortage of coral or different life
  • They will promote coral progress, develop new reefs, and appeal to marine life
  • As various points of interest, additionally they scale back tourism pressures on pure reefs

Most underwater museums are accessible to scuba divers, snorkelers, freedivers, and even sightseers on glass-bottomed boats. There’s one thing to pique everybody’s curiosity, so historical past buffs, scientists, photographers, archaeologists, and artwork lovers: learn on for ten superb underwater museum locations you’ll need to dive into:

A Jordanian army tank submerged in Aqaba as part of the Underwater Military Museum, a popular scuba attraction in Jordan
Underwater Army Museum, Jordan

Desk of Contents:

1. Alonissos Underwater Museum, Greece

  • Opened: 2020
  • Location: Peristera, Alonissos
  • Depth: 21-28m / 69-92ft
  • Sort: Wreck / archaeology

This award-winning underwater museum centres on one of many largest and most essential Classical-era shipwrecks. Courting again to the fifth Century BCE, the so-called Parthenon of Shipwrecks is 30m (98m) lengthy, 10m (33ft) large, and was discovered by a fisherman in 1985. Whereas the ship’s picket construction is lengthy gone, its footprint is marked by the well-preserved cargo of over three,000 historic amphorae. It’s an archaeologist’s dream! Additionally, at Alonissos’s Information Center, even non-diving vacationers can peek into historical past with digital actuality excursions and seabed cameras. There’s already speak of including extra websites, so that is one to observe.

2. Underwater Army Museum, Jordan

  • Opened: 2019
  • Location: Gulf of Aqaba, Purple Sea
  • Depth: 7-28m / 23-92ft
  • Sort: Wreck / army

Poised in battle formation on a sandy seabed, that is definitely not your typical army museum. Right here, 21 wartime exhibits embrace an ambulance, crane, helicopter, troop service, anti-aircraft weapons, and a number of other tanks, all beforehand used and donated by Jordanian armed forces. After being made environmentally protected, the relics have been then sunk over seven days with the assistance of ASEZA and native port authorities. Right now, the fleet sits alongside Red Sea marine life, similar to parrotfish, pufferfish, and eels. It’s a powerful choice that’s more likely to develop much more sooner or later.

The Silent Evolution, one of many art installations in the Cancun Underwater Museum and an iconic site for divers in Mexico

three. Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA), Mexico

  • Opened: 2010
  • Location: Cancun, Yucatan Peninsula
  • Depth: Four-8m / 13-26ft
  • Sort: Sculpture park / artwork

Also called the Cancun Underwater Museum, over 500 sculptures convey collectively science, artwork, and conservation in one of many largest underwater artwork shows. The undertaking options work by acclaimed sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor who additionally created Grenada’s underwater sculpture park (the world’s first), Museo Atlantico, MOUA, and extra. The sculptures use coral-friendly supplies that encourage reef progress whereas offering shelter for marine life. Iconic reveals embrace The Silent Evolution (400+ human figures forged from native fashions), a life-size VW Beetle, and an angel with gorgonian wings. For much more enjoyable and a few buoyancy apply, add the Seascape ring statues to your journey.

A scuba diver uncovers a mosaic floor in the ancient sunken city of Baia, a famous underwater museum in Italy

Four. Underwater Archaeological Park of Baia, Italy

  • Opened: 2002
  • Location: Pozzuoli, Campania
  • Depth: 5-13m / 16-43ft
  • Sort: Sunken ruins / archaeology

Constructed above volcanic vents, the traditional metropolis of Baia was previously an indulgent spa retreat for the Roman Empire’s highly effective and rich. However by the eighth Century CE, it had been abandoned following raids and illness. Lastly, it sank into the ocean on account of bradyseism. As we speak, it’s a singular underwater museum the place divers and snorkelers can immerse themselves in historical past, tradition, and classical structure. Swim down a 200m (656ft) paved street and marvel on the stays of imperial steam baths and sculptures. Or, go to the ruins of Roman villas and uncover the intricate designs of marble and mosaic flooring. Look out for the underwater bubble baths when you’re there — an indication of the seismic exercise that led this metropolis to its demise.

5. The Museum of Underwater Artwork (MOUA), Australia

  • Opened: 2019
  • Location: Townsville, Queensland
  • Depth: 12-16m / 39-52ft
  • Sort: Sculpture park / artwork

If the Great Barrier Reef isn’t sufficient, then how about a man-made counterpart? The MOUA is one other success by Jason deCaires Taylor and the one underwater artwork museum within the Southern Hemisphere. Coral Greenhouse is an enormous metal construction that homes 20 sculptures, over 2,000 coral fragments, juvenile fish, and lots of invertebrates. It’s additionally a science venture that screens reef circumstances with underwater cameras. Above water, the Ocean Siren statue’s color modifications with the ocean temperatures — a poignant reminder of local weather change. Extra reveals are deliberate quickly for Palm Island and Magnetic Island.

The ruins of Caesarea ancient port in Israel, which are 2,000 years old and one of the world's most unique underwater museums

6. Caesarea Underwater Archaeological Park, Israel

  • Opened: 2006
  • Location: Caesarea
  • Depth: 2-9m / 7-30ft
  • Sort: Sunken ruins / archaeology

Over 2,000 years in the past, King Herod constructed Caesarea on the ruins of an previous Phoenician metropolis. It turned a flagship Roman Empire port however is believed to have been destroyed 100 years later by a tsunami. Whereas archaeologists have studied the location for many years, storms and science have led to newer discoveries, together with hoards of gold coins. This underwater museum covers 87,000 sq. yards (‎72,743 sq. metres), 4 trails, and 36 websites. It’s additionally the one historic port open to leisure divers and snorkelers, who can navigate sunken ruins such because the breakwater, docks, lighthouse, warehouses, shipwrecks, and anchors. What’s extra, you'll be able to nonetheless see the port’s unique hydraulic cement foundations — a feat of Roman ingenuity.

The Raft of Lampedusa, which is an iconic sculpture in Museo Atlantico, the first-ever underwater art museum in Europe

7. Museo Atlántico, Spain

  • Opened: 2016
  • Location: Lanzarote, Canary Islands
  • Depth: 12-15m / 39-49ft
  • Sort: Sculpture park / artwork

Created by — you guessed it, Jason deCaires Taylor — that is Europe and the Atlantic Ocean’s first underwater art museum. Over 300 sculptures are grouped by themes comparable to local weather change and the co-existence of nature and humanity. There’s a gyre of 200 life-sized human figures, whereas The Rubicon exhibits individuals strolling obliviously in the direction of some extent of no return. The long-lasting Raft of Lampedusa represents the disaster of sailors and refugees. Most reveals are no-touch, however divers are inspired to wash Portal’s mirror for an interactive expertise. The sculptures are made with coral-friendly supplies, and since opening, marine life variety — together with barracuda, angel sharks, rays, octopus, and eels — has elevated over 200%!

A bust of Lenin, one of 50 sculptures in the Alley of Leaders Underwater Museum in Cape Tarkhankut, Crimea

Eight. Alley of Leaders, Crimea

  • Opened: 1992
  • Location: Cape Tarkhankut
  • Depth: 12-15m / 39-49ft
  • Sort: Sculpture park / historical past

Within the Black Sea, about 100m (328ft) from the shore, lies a time capsule of Soviet history and a considerably hidden gem in relation to underwater museums. The venture is the brainchild of Vladimir Broumensky, a Ukrainian diver who got down to recycle fallen statues and busts following the collapse of the united states. The gathering consists of figures of communist leaders reminiscent of Lenin, Marx, and Stalin, alongside different influencers like Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Alexander Blok. Oddly, there are additionally replicas of well-known landmarks, together with the Eiffel Tower and London’s Tower Bridge. During the last three many years, the Alley of Leaders has grown to over 50 sculptures and attracts native marine life, together with fish, rays, and crabs.

9. Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Path, USA

  • Opened: 2012
  • Location: Florida’s Gulf Coast (Port St. Joe to Pensacola)
  • Depth: Eight-65m / 25-212ft
  • Sort: Wreck / historical past

The Florida Division of State’s Underwater Archeology Workforce and native dive operators created this famend Shipwreck Trail. The purpose was to spice up tourism following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Initially showcasing 12 of the area’s most numerous wrecks, the path was later expanded to 20 websites in 2021 and consists of tugboats, WWII minesweepers, coal barges, and the USS Oriskany plane service (the world’s largest synthetic wreck). An underwater information particulars not solely every website’s historical past but in addition navigation and marine life. There’s even a path passport, so you'll be able to validate every dive as a memento of your journey. When you’re planning to discover extra of what the Sunshine State presents, then take a look at the Florida Keys Shipwreck Trail, too.

10. Baiheliang Underwater Museum, China

  • Opened: 2009
  • Location: Fuling, Chongqing
  • Depth: 43m / 141ft
  • Sort: Conventional museum / archaeology

Baiheliang (which means ‘White Crane Ridge’) is a pure stone ridge that's 1,600m (5,249ft) lengthy and 15m (49ft) large, within the Yangtze River. Carved into the rock are 165 uncommon inscriptions and fish sculptures recording 1,200 years of change within the river’s water ranges. This makes it the oldest hydrographic survey station. Because the Three Gorges Dam was constructed, the now-permanently submerged ridge has been preserved inside an arched-glass casing full of three,800 tons of recycled, purified water and deep-water lighting. It’s a museum building that took seven years and $30m to assemble! What’s extra, that is the one underwater museum on our listing that doesn’t contain getting moist. As an alternative, there’s an underground viewing tunnel with 23 home windows, 28 cameras, and two escalators.

So, are you able to dive right into a world of artwork, historical past, and tradition? Then plan a visit to one among these superb underwater museums on your subsequent scuba trip. Obtain the PADI Adventures App or go to PADI Travel to get began!

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