The Bahamas have long been known as a boating paradise—but who knew the islands were equally perfect for indulging your artistic side?
Just below Nassau’s pristine marine horizon sits the world’s largest underwater sculpture, a 60-ton marvel by the name of Ocean Atlas. The truly larger-than-life figure, designed by Jason deCaires Taylor, isn’t just a sight to see, but a message for water lovers the world over. Read on to learn more.
The weight of the world on her shoulders?
Ocean Atlas depicts a young girl crouched on the ocean floor, her shoulders reaching just below the surface of the water as if she’s hoisting up the horizon herself. It’s a nod to another Atlas—that of Greek mythology, the Titan who was tasked with holding the whole world on his shoulders. (Incidentally, it’s from him where we get the name “Atlantic Ocean,” which means “Sea of Atlas.”)
Just like that legendary figure, the Bahamian girl in Ocean Atlas is carrying quite a load—and according to artist Taylor, that’s on purpose. The nearly-20-foot figure represents humans’ responsibility to care for the oceans, now and into the future, and the “weight” that responsibility entails, especially when considering the younger generation.
Of course, Ocean Atlas isn’t just a sculpture that preaches the importance of caring for our oceans—it actually does its part, too…
A sculpture with substance
Commissioned by the Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation, or BREEF, Ocean Atlas lives and breathes its very own message. Taylor designed the sculpture with pH-neutral building materials, which are sustainable and will allow marine creatures to make their home around the sculpture now and far into the future. The artificial reef created by Ocean Atlas also provides a natural draw for divers, who can come and tour the immersive underwater museum of sorts. One thing’s for sure—there is nothing quite like this in any of the world’s oceans.
Exploring the islands
Ocean Atlas delivers a message so strong and important that it’s worth seeing in person! So, if you’ve been searching for that perfect place to go diving, this might just be it. Of course, the fun continues above the surface, too. Diving the underwater sculpture puts you near Nassau, the Bahamian capital and a top spot for boating through clear, aquamarine waters, past the famous pastel facades of classic Bahamas architecture. The allure of the Bahamas, for many, is to get in touch with the serenity of nature—so if you want to take that a step further, venturing east from Nassau to nearby spots like Rose Island might be just the ticket. Here you will find a remote hideaway, a place to splash around in the pristine, shallow water or simply enjoy the view from white sand shores.
Boat the Bahamas for a chance to see beauty above and below the surface! We hope that today’s blog has given you a closer look at one of our favorite area gems.