It’s sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor’s most ambitious undertaking to date: The Urban Reef installation at Cancun’s Museo Subacuatico de Arte is a group of small family homes thoughtfully designed for fish and marine life. There are no mortgage payments, yard work or expensive renovations needed, and the only housing bubble is the one coming from a regulator. Chimneys are designed as tubular areas for moray eels, textured roofs provide substrate to encourage the growth of coral polyps, large, dark cavities are family-room hangouts for fish like puffers and squirrelfish, built-in ledges shelter reclusive crabs and lobsters, and small rooms with mesh entrances shelter juvenile fish hiding from predators.
Like the underwater museum Taylor created in Grenada, Cancun’s shallow-water sculptures — in depths that range from 9 to 28 feet — are part of an underwater tableaux that allows divers and snorkelers the chance to log long bottom times while they meander past installations that have become living reefs. Other sculptures include numerous human figures, a grand piano and Volkswagen Beetle.
To dive Cancun’s underwater museum, go to isla-mujeres.net.
Courtesy Jason deCaires Taylor