To take a tour of the recently opened Museo Atlantico, you’ll want to bring a swimsuit. Launched in January 2018 by British artist Jason deCaires Taylor, it’s Europe’s only underwater museum. You no longer have to travel all the way to the Canary Islands to check it out, though, nor do you necessarily need to don a pair of flippers. A new 360° video will let you explore it virtually.
The Museo Atlantico is a sculpture park located some 40 feet underwater off the southern coast of the island of Lanzarote that can only be accessed by scuba divers and snorkelers, containing several hundred cement sculptures that are designed to form an artificial reef at the bottom of the sea. The virtual reality tour below comes courtesy of the Barceló Hotel Group, which operates several hotels in Lanzarote.
The life-sized sculptures, spread out over almost 27,000 square feet, include statues of children sitting in boats, a man lying on a funeral pyre, a couple taking a selfie, and artificial sculptures of vegetation native to Lanzarote. The works are designed to tackle environmental and social topics and are made with sea life in mind, with small compartments and other structural features that are meant to attract creatures like urchins and octopuses.
The film’s description on the Barceló site helpfully includes time stamps where notable artworks appear so that you can know what you’re looking at. The tour is eerie and feels like exploring a sunken society. The water is murky, and the sculptures are already covered in marine life that makes them look like they’ve been at the bottom of the sea for ages, frozen in time. Take a look for yourself in the video below.