Christ of the Abyss is a 8 1/2 foot, 4,000 pound bronze sculpture of Jesus Christ that stands in 25 feet of water off of Key Largo, Florida. It is located near Dry Rocks, about six miles east-northeast of the Key Largo Cut, in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
It is a copy of “Il Cristo degli Abssi,” located in the Mediterranean Sea near Genoa, Italy. The original statue was cast by artist Guido Galletti, and was modeled after Italian swimmer/diver Duillo Mercanet. The statue was placed in 1954, near the spot where Dario Gonzatti died in 1947.
In 1961 Italian SCUBA entrepreneur Egidi Cressi commissioned the second casting from the original mold, and donated it to the Underwater Society of America. The statue ended up in storage at O’Hare airport in Chicago, waiting for a home. Senator Spessard Holland of Florida helped John Pennekamp Park to get the nod, where it was placed on August 25, 1965.
Today, Christ of the Abyss is one of the most famous and popular underwater sites in the only underwater park in the world.
Due to increasing amounts of corrosion and the growth of crustaceans, the statue was removed from the water and restored in 2003. A hand that had been detached by an anchor was also replaced. The statue was returned to the water with a new base on 17 July 2004.
I have also found this magnificent atmospheric youtube video that depicts the feeling.
Magnificent, isn’t it?
(if you cannot see the youtube video in your region, please click here to open it directly in youtube)