The Great Barrier Reef is home to the world's most extensive coral reef system with almost 3,000 corals found, and not only that, an astonishing underwater museum can be located amidst the marine life.
Different kind of museums is found worldwide and offer a wide variety of experiences. Museums are visited by thousands of tourists a day to discover artworks found, collected, and donated by art collectors. In Australia, a peculiar museum takes experience to a whole new level.
The Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) takes the experience below sea level as it brings its guests, adventurers, and those who want to see the admire the beauty underneath the surface. The museum recently opened in Townsville, Queensland, Australia, according to The Inertia. This is the first of its kind in the Southern hemisphere just off the coast of Townsville.
Just when we thought the @gbrmarinepark couldn’t get more impressive, this happens… Introducing the first underwater #museum in the Southern Hemisphere, @Queensland's Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) located off the coast of @TownsvilleNQ #seeaustralia #inspiredbyMOUA pic.twitter.com/TdEMGBEba0 — Australia (@Australia) August 3, 2020
MOUA attributes the opening of the underwater museum to showcase the history of the country's "First Nations people" and raise awareness on the reef. The people behind the museum is aimed at showing the natural beauties of the marine world and promote the advocacy of conserving and restoring the reefs found underneath.
"Our vision is to create a global art attraction which tells the stories of the land, people and environment; provides significant economic benefit to the local economy and builds the capacity of operators and businesses within the local tourism industry." according to MOUA's website.
MOUA: Insider Look
The Museum of Underwater Art is located nearly 60 feet below the surface housing a sunken greenhouse for the corals. The reef is surrounded by 'Reef Guardians' that protect the coral reefs from various dangers that may be present.
According to The Inertia, Reef Guardians acts more than a statue because of its design to withstand a Category 4 Hurricane. This intensity is devastating to the sea.
The museum also eases the worries of environmentalists that are concerned in the sculptures being harmful with the marine life found underneath. The said sculptures are made with fish and coral-friendly cement and among this, embedded pieces of coral.
MOUA aims for the museum to be part of the Great Barrier Reef's ecosystem and serve as shelter for many of the marine life found below deck.
The Museum of Underwater Art aims to promote its visions towards the people who will take part to explore or even study the marine life found on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
MOUA envisions itself to be part of a large collective that will bring benefits to the following sectors: Environment, Local Tourism, Local Jobs, Arts and Culture, Palm Islands Indigenous Story Telling, and Education and Global Research.
MOUA's Artist: Jason deCaires Taylor
The Museum of Underwater Art's lead designer is sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor. The world-renowned underwater sculptor, Taylor, created his masterpieces for the museum and shared its advocacy of protecting the environment, particularly the marine life.
Taylor is known to have taken part in building the world's first underwater museum known as MUSA in Cancun, Mexico. Another project, Museo Atlantico, aimed to create a large-scale artificial reef in Europe that boosted the biological mass in the area for about 200 percent more.
The effort by Taylor resulted in rare species of sharks, barracudas, marine sponges, and more to visit the reef and consider it a sanctuary for all aquatic life.
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Written by Isaiah Alonzo