If you were obsessed with Disney’s Little Mermaid as a kid and dreamed of life under the sea, then head to West Palm Beach, FL. There, 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project is using real people as molds to create mermaid sculptures from sustainable limestone and cement.
Founded by artists Ernest Vasquez and Sierra Rasberry, the nonprofit’s work aims to replenish the local reef and expand fishery populations through the creation of an underwater garden made up of the environment-friendly models. On August 21, 1000 Mermaids deployed the first batch of 50 sculptures. Its goal is to plant at least 1,000 statues, so you still have a chance at having a replica of yourself — with a tail.
The sculpture garden will have a two-fold function: boost ocean health and serve as an underwater art installation where divers will be able to explore freely.
According to the official website, “Mermaids have long been a symbol of humans’ connection to the Ocean, and this artificial reef is being created by body casting real people in the form of mermaids on ocean-friendly artistically crafted reef modules that will allow their likeness and legacy to live forever on the seafloor.”
The project also aims to boost economic growth in the region by promoting eco-tourism, research opportunities, and transforming the area into a world-class diving destination.