Europe’s first underwater museum opened yesterday in the Spanish Canary Islands, off the coast of Lanzarote. The Museo Atlántico was created by British eco-sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor and consists of life-sized sculptures made of pH-neutral materials that are designed to coexist with marine life. It doubles as a large-scale artificial reef, according to EuroNews.
“Pieces of the exhibition, installed in February 2016, have already enjoyed visits from angel sharks, shoals of barracuda, sardines, octopus, marine sponges, and a butterfly stingray,” the European news channel reported. The site is about 46 feet deep, and visitors can explore it by snorkeling or scuba diving. The museum is suitable for families, but there are some age and health restrictions.
“I hope that the Museo Atlántico of Lanzarote represents an entry point to a different world and promotes a better understanding of our precious marine environment and of how much we depend on it,” deCaires Taylor said at the January 10 opening of the exhibition.
The photos of the over 300 sculptures are beautiful and haunting, and some of the works make commentary on current crises such as the refugee situation in Europe. Click ahead to see the artwork.