The Silent Evolution, a project comprising of an installation of 400 life-sized human sculptures on the sea bed off the coast of Cancun, Mexico, is now reaping handsome results - almost all the statues are now adorned with the artificial coral reef.
Created by British artist Jason de Caires Taylor, the sculpture park is located underwater between Cancun and the Isla Mujeres National Marine Park and was designed to reduce the impact that the yearly visit of nearly three-quarters of a million tourists has. Marine scientists have long expressed their concern of the dangers of tourist activity on the natural formation.
Taylor's artificial reef, therefore, was planned to draw tourists away from the natural corals... a step that could protect marine life and amuse tourists at the same time. The artist completed the full installation by the end of 2010 and just about a year later, the sculptures are a delightful hub for artificially grown corals as well as home for a variety of aquatic creatures.
The sculptures are made of a special type of cement which has a neutral pH that encourages coral to grow and to satisfy his aesthetic side Taylor's sculptures explore the relationships between art, science and the environment.
Another advantage of the Silent Evolution sculptures is that this "human reef" promotes tourism in an otherwise barren sea and attracts adventurers towards something unusually artistic under water. These reefs on human faces may look scary at times but that has not kept tourists at bay. The reefs are accessible from both Cancun and the Isla Mujeres National Marine Park.
Check out the slideshow to view photographs of these underwater sculptures... both from when they were first immersed to the latest images, showing these coral-clad statues standing tall to protect the natural coral reefs...