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fun in underwater Cancun

Cancun underwater attraction displays eco-friendly messages

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An underwater statue somewhere in the ocean displays what the Cancun Underwater Museum has to offer students on spring break. For college students going to Cancun during their 2011 spring break, we have some really cool news! And for those of you who aren’t sure where to go, we think this awesome bit of fun might convince you to come to the Mexican city too!

Imagine snorkeling around life-size statues while visiting a museum… underwater! While it doesn’t exactly equate to a party, we still think this new attraction could be the neatest thing to find its way into the Gulf of Mexico since Kevin Costner’s oil clean-up machine.

Nearly 400 sculptures have been submerged since phase two of the project at Cancun’s Underwater Museum began, reports Focus on Travel News.

Jason de Caires Taylor, designer of the galleries, calls his newest project the “Silent Evolution” because the statues depict the history of humans starting with ancient Maya to the Mexican Independence and even the more recent revolution.

The exhibit is planned to open at the end of November, 2010, so students will certainly be able to visit this treasure trove of art and history. Visitors to the Cancun Marine Park can snorkel or scuba around the many different structures submerged into the waters.

Even cooler still is the fact that these sculptures aren’t just for tourists, it’s an eco-friendly design created to promote the healthy status of marine life.

Already, Jason de Caires Taylor has designed three other exhibits called “The Gardener of Hope,” “The Archive of Lost Dreams,” and “Man on Fire.” Each other these display a different scene underwater where people can snorkel around and marvel at.

The “Gardener of Hope” shows a girl potting plants on a set of patio stairs. Inside the pots are living coral from reefs that have been damaged. According to Taylor’s website the depiction is a “synthesis between art and science” and promotes a message of hope. The young girl represents a new relationship between humans and the environment based on love and care.

As college students, we’re very aware of the daily catastrophes happening on our planet. Perhaps you’ve even taken a class or two in environmental studies (we did!) and want to see how art can benefit the ecosystems of the world. This museum is the place. Imagine how impressed your professors will be when you come back from spring break saying “Oh yeah, I went to this underwater thing where statues were submerged to help the marine life and not only that, it was beautiful!”

The most intriguingly named exhibit is the “Archive of Lost Dreams.” The sculpture includes a collection of items (hence the “archive”) maintained by a man, who is presumably their caretaker. The man appears to be collecting bottles containing messages and has organized them in four separate categories: fear, hope, loss and belonging. The coolest part is that real messages are in the bottles! People from all different areas of the world have been asked to give a letter which depict the world as they see it. The aim is to give future generations a time capsule of sorts, so maybe you should consider writing a hopeful message to them!

At the “Man on Fire” exhibit, a solitary man stands “defiant” with 75 fire coral branches sticking out of him. The plants are yellow, brown and orange and produce a stinging feeling when touched by bare hands, hence the name of the statue. Also, when seen from above, it seems the man is engulfed in flames. Morbid? Definitely, but still kind of awesome. The structure was created by a local fisherman and weighs over one ton! It is meant to symbolize the general human response to growing environmental issues. According to the website, the man is not aware he is on fire, which represents our alleged lack of knowledge of our impact on the planet.

While this seems a bit harsh, this is a global attraction. We as students believe we are doing everything we can to protect the environment but many countries aren’t so careful. Nations around the world emit toxic pollutants that affect the oceans and atmosphere and damage living creatures in these ecosystems. Exhibits like these underwater museums are a fun and engaging way to show the world how the environment get effected by humans.

So how exactly does Taylor make these sculptures? “I wrote down a list of what I needed: a young girl, an elderly lady, a Mayan man in his 20s… and then we brought them into the studio and looked at who they were and what sort of pose would suit them,” he told the Associated Foreign Press. Then he took his models, covered them in Vaseline and created plaster casts of his subjects.

This underwater museum sounds like it will be amazing! We’re jealous already.