A brand new art exhibition with a difference has opened in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary this month. You can't exactly buy an entrance ticket and there are no galleries as such.

Instead, you'll need a PADI license and an oxygen tank, because this exhibition sits 27m below the surface of the Atlantic, around seven miles south of Key West, Florida.

The installation, which comprises a dozen photo illustrations from Andreas Franke's Sinking World series, is mounted on the weather deck of sunken ship Vandenberg. The vessel, a former Air Force missile tracking ship, was intentionally sank in 2009 to create an artificial reef for marine life to thrive upon. Today, as well as this unusual art exhibition, it sees Goliath grouper and sailfish shelter and breed throughout its decks.

To see the exhibition, visitors can book the Morning Wreck and Reef tour operated daily by the Key West Dive Center.

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More underwater attractions across the world

Underwater attractions aren't a new concept, mind. Here are a few more places you can get cultured under the sea:

  • Museo Subacuático de Arte, Cancun, Mexico: over 400 sculptures of men and women, made from marine-life-friendly materials by English artist Jason deCaires Taylor.
  • Japanese Atlantis, Okinawa Island, Japan: discovered by a diver in 2014 and dubbed the "Japanese Atlantis", this underwater world off the coast of Okinawa is thought to be part of a 5,000-year-old lost city.
  • Underwater post office, Vanuatu: keen postcard-writers will be pleased to find out they can pen their message above sea, then dive the three metres beneath surface to send it from the island of Vanuatu.

Underwater sculptures, CancunImage by Ratha Grimes on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Explore more of Florida with the Rough Guide to FloridaCompare flights, find toursbook hostels and hotels for your trip, and don’t forget to buy travel insurance before you go.

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