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Undersea Art Springs to Life
The Silent Evolution.
Credit: Jason deCaires Taylor.

Hundreds of statues of men, women and children were sunk to the bottom of the sea near Cancun and Isla Mujeres in the Gulf of Mexico where they will slowly come to life as algae, coral and fish begin to make these statues their new homes.

Artificial reefs are common: Old ships and subway cars are often dumped offshore to host aquatic life . But artist Jason deCaires Taylor has turned artificial reefs into artwork. His creations are life-sized and almost life-like cement sculptures.

His latest project is the development of an underwater museum within the National Marine Park off Cancun and Isla Mujeres. The final and most ambitious of the museum's four stages, nearing completion, is called "The Silent Evolution."

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DeCaires Taylor, a Brit, has crafted 400 statues each of them depicting a local villager and has already positioned more than 250 of them on the sea floor, according to the website GrindTV.

The environmentally-friendly reef will become popular among scuba divers and, as a new attraction, it should relieve some pressure from the area's more fragile natural reefs .