Artist produces underwater 'houses' for reef fish

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It may look like a typical family home, but this house has been cleverly designed to provide a safe haven for reef fish, while encouraging corals to grow on its surface…

Jason deCaires Taylor is well known for his underwater sculptures in the Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA) in the waters surrounding Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc. The project consists of over 450 permanent life-size sculptures, made using materials that will encourage the growth of corals in what was originally quite a barren area.

This amazing underwater art attraction for scuba divers and snorkellers also eases the enormous pressure put upon the natural reefs in the area by tourists, by drawing them away.  

Now Taylor has added to this collection with his 'Urban Reef', which features human-style houses for fish.

The buildings, while looking very like typical family houses, have been designed to provide homes for a wide variety of fish species.

Take the chimney, for example. This offers a tubular area perfect for moray eels. The 'living room' has a mesh entrance for juvenile fish to escape predation, while another room offers large, dark cavities for squirrelfish and puffers to take refuge.

There are also flat, dark retreat areas to attract crabs and lobsters, and the roofs of the houses are textured to encourage the settlement of corals polyps.

Like the other sculptures in the project, the houses are made from special pH neutral cement, which allows corals to grow on its surface.

You can see more of Jason deCaires Taylor's amazing creations on his website.

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