Curious Case Of The Christ Of The Abyss

By Isha Jalan on Jan 08, 2019
* Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and book something (there is never any extra cost to you for using these links).

Jesus Christ Superstar

Image Source: Wilfred Hdez/

One of the most inexplicable places to find god would be underwater. But thats actually what will happen if you go diving or snorkelling off the coast of Key Largo, Florida in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. When we say this, we dont mean that youll find yourself suddenly religious, awestruck by the beauty of the coral reefs and sea life, wondering about the creativity of a divine maker(although that is also a possibility); we mean that you will literally find god in the form of a statue of Jesus Christ submerged underwater.

The statue is called Christ of the Abyss. The original bronze statue is located in the Mediterranean Sea off San Fruttuosoand was placed there in 1954. It was sculpted by Guido Galletti. It marks the spot where the first Italian to use scuba gear, a man called Dario Gonzatti, lost his life in 1947. Galletti borrowed the idea of the statue from Italian diver DuilioMarcante. Due to corrosion and damage, it was removed in 2003, restored and placed back where it belonged in 2004.

The statue in Florida is the second copy of the original statue (the first copy is in Grenada) and has been made by the same mould that was used for the Italian statue. It was placed underwater in 1962. The statue weighs around 260 kg and its concrete base weighs a whopping 9 tons. Its 8.5 feet tall, is about 25 feet underwater and welcomes divers with his arms wide open.

A little advice though if you ever decide to visit: please dont touch Jesuss hands like many divers do. First, the statue has become home to myriad sea creatures, crustaceans and corals over the years and touchingit might upset this delicate ecosystem. Second, the Key Largo statue is notorious for harbouring fire coral. The name itself should be enough of a warning. They inflict painful stings on divers if touched.

If youre a fan of diving and snorkelling, this is one fascinating spot to enjoy it. Its beautiful and diving here will be a truly divine experience. Theres a reason this place is one of the worlds most visited underwater attractions.

Ever been diving here? Why don't you leave us your story in the comments? Till then, cowabunga!..