Recently in the Bahamas off the coast of Nassau was installed an underwater atlas 18 feet high (5.5 meters) and a 60-ton statue called the “Atlantic Ocean”. The giant structure was made by Jason De Cairo Taylor, an artist who created several underwater sculptures. The sculpture of a Bahamian girl, bearing on her shoulders the weight of the oceans, is designed to evoke the Greek myth of the Atlas, the titan who raised heavenly spheres. [More on the giant underwater statue] (Photo: Jason de Caires Taylor)
A massive statue, installed earlier this month, will soon begin its second life under water. Its creator, Jason de Cairo Taylor, constructed a statue to become an artificial reef, where all the shelter is fish, crustaceans and corals.
Lowering into the water
The sculpture, which weighs 60 tons, was built in several pieces on land. Then these pieces were dropped into the water with a crane.
The main project
Since the sculpture was so huge, the team had to lower each detail every time in the water. The divers then leveled these pieces and fixed them in place under the water.
Built on land
Particular parts of the sculpture were cast into molds using special sea-grade concrete, which resists degradation in salt water. Taylor hopes that the material will last for hundreds of years. Taylor also avoided using reinforcing metal rods, which are commonly found in concrete structures, as the metal can corrode underwater.
Creation of the oceanic atlas
Here the statue stands on the ground.
Casting of the oceanic atlas
The statue was molded in several forms, for example, ask what was shown here. Taylor designed textured concrete to mimic rocky surfaces where the embryonic coral takes root. In the end, the giant sculpture will become an artificial coral reef, where the sea life hides.
The construction of such a large statue was a collective work. Here is the construction team that worked on the project.
Ocean atlas model
The sculpture is designed to convey the idea that local residents, and especially the new generation, can support and prevent the destruction of the oceans. So he used a local girl named Camilla, shown here, as a model for work.
Although the statue is already established, its transformation is just beginning. Since the statue will be an artificial reef, its appearance will change day by day, as more and more coral anchors on the surface and how many fish, crabs and other creatures take refuge there. Taylor sometimes sows sculptures with corals to speed up this process.
Surface to the seabed
Although Taylor built many other underwater sculptures, for this sculpture he wanted to create something that uses the entire space from the surface of the water to the ocean floor. As a result, the “Atlantic Ocean”, shown below, provides swimmers and divers with completely different views than they usually have from the top. Here the snorkel scans the sctatue from above. The incredible size of the sculpture will also create a variety of habitats for marine life. Crustaceans are likely to take refuge at the base of the sculpture, while the training of fish will hide from predators inside voids and spaces.
Lock in place
Here the team locks the pieces in place for the final installation. The choice of a good place for a statue was not trivial. To grow the coral on the statue, Taylor chose a place located downstream of the natural reef so that the embryonic coral could drift through the water and anchor it on the sculpture.
“Ocean Atlas” can help save not only inspirational people to protect the oceans, but also to divert divers and scuba divers from nearby natural reefs that were damaged by excessive use. Here is a view of the statue from below.
Another point of view
Because of the buoyancy of water, the gravitational force is much weaker for underwater and snorkeling, and divers can swim up, down and around the statue, getting an idea of a sculpture that would never be possible on land.