The Ocean Atlas Statue
Photo by Jack Bates photography & model Sacha Kalis
Don’t ever be fooled into thinking that man made diving sites lack intrigue, excitement and breathtaking beauty. Because the Ocean Atlas Statue in Nassau in the Bahamas has all of that and more.
Sitting at a depth of 5 metres, Ocean Atlas is an artwork depicting a young Bahamian girl “sustaining the ceiling of the ocean” above her. With both wonder and energy in her eyes, she represents the Greek titan Atlas, condemned to carry the weight of the heavens on his back for eternity.
Officially the largest single underwater sculpture, she’s a reminder to divers of the positive impact humans can have on the world. She’s so large (18 foot tall and weighing in at 60 tonnes), she had to be assembled in place underwater by British sculptor and designer Jason deCaires Taylor. She’s made from a pH neutral cement that allows reef organisms and marine life to make the surface an artificial home and thrive there.
She also creates a distraction that helps deter divers in the area from exploring the overstressed natural reefs nearby. Immensely curious to explore, the Ocean Atlas girl will eventually become completely covered with coral and organisms, but will still be recognisable for the beautiful human she is.