Image of underwater sculpture art coral reef

Underwater Sculpture

As saltwater fish and reef aquarium hobbyists, we sometimes set out to recreate a little slice of the ocean inside of our aquarium—but what about creating a little slice of humanity in the ocean? That’s exactly what artist and photographer Jason deCaires Taylor does. He makes art by creating sculptures that either depict humans, or elements of human culture and submerges them, where they become encrusted by the natural sponges, algaes and corals of the ocean.

Image of underwater sculpture art coral reef

With the seemingly unrelenting pressures placed on natural reefs, giving coral reefs a foothold on what would otherwise be a relatively barren sandy sea floor is commendable work of its own merit–but what Jason deCaires Taylor does takes conservation a step further.

underwater reef sculpture garden

If you have been in the hobby for a reasonable period of time, you may have ‘scaled up’ your tank to a bigger size, or at least contemplated it. I think Taylor takes the prize there too, since his ‘aquarium’ is the ocean itself.

image of underwater reef sculpture art


Personally, I have always sought to recreate natural looking displays in my aquarium, but I am mesmerized by the breathtaking and sometimes haunting beauty that he has created.

How awesome would it be if aquariums of the future incorporate not just aquascaping, but aquasculpturing?

coral and sponges growing on an underwater sculpture

I want that ‘little’ piece for my display tank. It reminds me of the ‘gummy venus de milo’ from The Simpsons, but I digress…

In addition to still shots, Jason’s website also features a series of short youtube videos profiling his underwater exhibits. The first, titled Human Nature is below:

Another awesome video is called Museo Subaquatica de Arte:

I was so blown away by the images and videos of this artist that I had to share some of them here.

All the images shown in this post of the underwater art of Jason deCaires Taylor are from his website and belong to him. Many thanks go out to him for allowing me to show the images here.  For more information about the artist, his vision and his work—or just to see more images and video—visit his website at:

I think it would be totally awesome if this dude got a contract to aquasculpture a big coral reef display at one of the big public aquariums. How awesome would that be?

It looks like you can also order limited edition prints of his artwork via a link from his website too. Check it out. Hope you enjoyed the pictures and videos here as much as I did.

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