Underwater sculpture museum opens on Atlantic seabed

As the statues in the underwater museum assimilate with their environment they will provide a home for marine wildlife Credit: Jason deCaires Taylor/ CACT Lanzarote

An unusual underwater sculpture museum which helps to encourage the habitation of sea life has taken up residence in the Atlantic ocean.

Created by British artist Jason deCaires Taylor the Museo Atlantico, is located off the coast of Lanzarote and is only accessible to be viewed by snorkelers and scuba divers due to its positioning on the seabed.

Opened to the public last month with 60 sculptures on display the museum will eventually boast more than 300 concrete statues and was, according to the artist, "challenging" but "worth it" to see how a piece of artwork could become such a big part of it's environment.

In total there will be over 300 statues put in place Credit: Jason deCaires Taylor/ CACT Lanzarote
Each statue is modeled on a real person Credit: NBC

He said: "It's amazing , it's only been in the water just over six weeks and already there's octopuses on them and calcium worms have started to grow.

"It's all designed as an artificial reef in an area that was completely barren and the idea is by placing statues in areas it attracts marine life.

"Seeing it colonised so quickly is lovely."

The sculptures, which weigh up to 10 tonnes each were put in place on the ocean floor after being shipped and dropped into position, and are designed like an artificial reef so they adapt and change with their environment.

NBC News footage shows the statues being lowered into place.

Featuring various exhibits including a crowd marching through the water and a sunk migrant boat the aim of the project is to "draw attention to issues such as climate change, conservation and migration" while also having a practical application as a habitat for marine life.

It is the first project of its kind to be done in Europe, although the artist has been creating similar works for the past 10 years, and the museum has been more than two years in the making.