Worldwide icon-chevron-right There is now an underwater museum inside the Great Barrier Reef
Coral Greenhouse, by Jason deCaires Taylor
Photograph: Matt Curnock Coral Greenhouse, by Jason deCaires Taylor

There is now an underwater museum inside the Great Barrier Reef

You can swim through the art

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Australia's Great Barrier Reef, in Far North Queensland, is unquestionably one of the wonders of the world. Brightly coloured fish, coral and giant clams make the reef their home, drawing millions of tourists to the site every year.

In addition to these natural wonders, there is now a Museum of Underwater Art, with four separate sculptures by artist Jason deCaires Taylor along the Great Barrier Reef. Two are currently finished, with the other two due next year.

Ocean Siren, by Jason deCaires Taylor

 

Ocean Siren, by Jason deCaires Taylor Photograph: Jason deCaires Taylor

 

The first to be finished is the 'Ocean Siren', which is modelled on local Wulgurukaba Traditional Owner Takoda Johnson and is just off the coast of Townsville's Strand Jetty. The 'Ocean Siren' is above the waterline and changes colour based on live data from the Davies Reef weather station. It is designed to highlight the danger of coral bleaching and environmental damage in the reef due to climate change.

Ocean Siren, by Jason deCaires Taylor

 

Ocean Siren, by Jason deCaires Taylor Photograph: Jason deCaires Taylor

 

The sculpture was installed in December 2019.

Coral Greenhouse, by Jason deCaires Taylor

 

Coral Greenhouse, by Jason deCaires Taylor Photograph: Matt Curnock

 

 

The second sculpture is the largest in the museum, and it's located at the John Brewer Reef in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. It's called 'Coral Greenhouse' and also shares a message of reef conservation and environmentalism. It's the first underwater building deCaires Taylor has ever built, and it's filled with 20 'reef guardians' busily conducting research on and protecting Australia's most important environmental treasure. 

Coral Greenhouse, by Jason deCaires Taylor

 

Coral Greenhouse, by Jason deCaires Taylor Photograph: Matt Curnock

 

'Coral Greenhouse' is pH neutral to encourage coral growth on its components. It is designed to become part of the reef itself, and you can only see 'Coral Greenhouse' by swimming through it with scuba or snorkelling gear. 

Coral Greenhouse, by Jason deCaires Taylor

 

Coral Greenhouse, by Jason deCaires Taylor Photograph: Matt Curnock

 

The other two sculptures are to be built at Magnetic Island and Palm Island and are expected to be finished by the end of 2021.

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