The Newest — and Largest — Underwater Sculpture in the World, by Jason deCaires Taylor
by Owen James Burke
This 18-foot, 60-ton sculpture, “Ocean Atlas” is the newest statue installation off Nassau in the Bahamas, where an underwater artificial reef trail is being built. It depicts a local Bahamian girl holding the surface of the sea on her shoulder in parody to the Greek sculpture of Titan Atlas, holding up the heavens. It’s also the largest (mostly) underwater statue in the world. Funny to think that in as soon as a few months — and with any luck — it’ll be entirely covered in corals.
British artist Jason deCaires Taylor is, as you may already know, no stranger to building undersea artificial reefs. He’s built many, including the famous undersea museum of 400 statues off Cozumel, Mexico. Each of his statues are made using a pH-neutral concrete so that the reef can take hold and grow without the interference of acidity.
Of course, like many mariners, the first thing I thought of when imagining a cement sculpture which protrudes from the surface of the sea was a serious maritime hazard. Fortunately, there’s a solar light and flag atop it, so you’ll have to be horribly lit yourself to even come close to striking this thing while under way.
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(All photos via DesignBoom, Copyright Jason deCaires Taylor)