Subaquatic Meseum of Art (MUSA)
What is the Subaquatic Museum of Art (MUSA)?
The Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA) is a "must see” snorkel and scuba destination in Cancun. MUSA is an example of sustainable tourism and is the largest subaquatic art project on the planet with over 500 sculptures. The MUSA sculptures created by Roberto Díaz Abraham have given the natural coral reef a new chance at long term sustainability by offering adventure seekers something that is equally cool to explore that also reduces significant pressure on the natural coral reefs. Definitely add a MUSA tour to your trip’s itinerary if you’re into underwater adventures and want to explore the clear blue waters surrounding Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc.
Is MUSA worth your time?
I would highly recommend booking a MUSA snorkel tour next time you’re in Cancun. Aquaworld is conveniently based in Cancun and has great guides, who not only know everything about MUSA, but were actually involved in the installation of the MUSA art sculptures. Our guide Ana was amazing and she took great care to make sure everybody had a good time. The snorkel tour lasted about two hours from start to finish and was an amazing experience. We listened to fun music and drank refreshments as we journeyed to the MUSA sculptures by boat. Our captain navigated the boat to the best parts of MUSA like the VW Bug and the Hands of God. Once we arrived, we jumped into the clear blue water with our flippers, life jackets, and goggles to scope out the amazing underwater art sculptures.
Where do Coral Reefs Grow??
Coral Reefs are truly sensitive to their environment and require goldi locks conditions to survive. The ideal environment includes warm shallow water with lots of sunlight in the range of 70-85 degrees F. Sunlight is a key ingredient because it grows the reef's algae, which is an energy source for the coral polyps to build the reef’s skeleton. The formation of Coral begins with Coral Polyps that build out the hard skeleton of the coral reef. The Coral Polyps require a ton of energy to build the Coral skeleton which is fueled from the energy stored in Algae. The energy for growth is provided by algae that lives in the coral's tissue, which makes adequate sunlight that shines through the clear blue shallow water a critical ingredient to the Corals sustainability.
Why are Coral Reefs Important??
Coral Reefs are important because their three dimensional structures provide critical habitat for the underwater ecosystem to thrive. Coral reefs are known as underwater rainforests because they support extreme biodiversity within the underwater ecosystem. Species of fish, turtles, crustaceans, and many other animals and plants call the coral reef home. The existence of each and every species plays a role in maintaining the balance of the ocean. Coral Reefs support industries like fishing, tourism and security. They also provide natural protection to coast lines from potentially damaging waves. Therefore, the health of the coral reefs logically impacts the survival of millions of species that balance the natural ecosystem. Coral reefs can be compared to the interactions that we see in major land based cities that are hustling and bustling with vibrant activity.
What threatens Coral Reefs ??
Warming waters, acidification, water pollution, and overfishing are threats to the coral reefs. Warmer waters are associated with bleaching that causes the coral reef to be less resilient to health challenges. Coral relies on calcium to build the hard coral skeleton. The coral cannot calcify or build when PH levels are acidic. Ocean waters with low pH cause a negative impact on corals ability to recover from storms or it's natural predators.
How can You support the long term health of coral reefs?
The growth of hard coral occurs at an extremely slow rate, which makes coral growth an extremely slow process that takes many years. Due to the slow rate of growth, it is very difficult for Coral to recover quickly from adverse conditions. You can directly help by supporting the underwater sculptures in the MUSA project, which offer a foundation for next steps in coral reef growth. You can also provide donations that will be used to fund the health of coral reefs. You can donate directly here. All funds will be forwarded to the Coral Reef Alliance.