Discover the Christ of the Abyss: A Unique Underwater Marvel in Florida

In the early 1950s, Italian artist Guido Galletti designed a bronze statue of Jesus Christ that was placed in the Italian Riviera near San Fruttuoso to honor the legacy of diver Duilio Marcante and divers and sailors who lost their lives at sea.

Galletti’s statue—known as Il Cristo degli Abissi, or Christ of the Abyss—was a nearly 9-foot-tall rendering of Christ looking towards the heavens with outstretched arms. Galletti’s Christ of the Abyss statue was so popular that he ended up creating two additional identical bronze statues—one that was placed in the Caribbean Sea near Grenada and another that was placed near Key Largo off the coast of the Florida Keys.

The Christ of the Abyss statue that found a permanent home in Florida was commissioned by Italian diver Egidio Cressi as a gift to the Underwater Society of America. The statue was unveiled in 1962 at a convention and found a permanent home in Florida in 1965. Thanks to clear water that offers excellent visibility and close proximity to the Dry Rocks reef and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo’s seaweed-encrusted Christ of the Abyss statue is one of Florida‘s most popular snorkeling and diving destinations.

Several Key Largo-based tour companies such as Key Largo Scuba Diving offer snorkeling excursions and group scuba diving expeditions that allow visitors to view the Christ of the Abyss up-close. Prior experience is not required to participate in a snorkeling tour, but you must be a strong swimmer. Key Largo Scuba Diving also offers scuba certification courses since you must be a certified scuba diver to join a group dive.

The Key Largo Princess offers glass-bottom boat tours where visitors can view the wonders of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park—which is America‘s first underwater state park—as well as the outstretched arms and upturned face of the Christ of the Abyss statue from an air-conditioned cabin with plush seats. Expect to see angelfish, moray eels, and perhaps even a shark swim by in the depths.

Even if you’re new to snorkeling, an excursion to view the Christ of the Abyss statue off the coast of Key Largo is a trip worth taking. Viewing a man-made statue peeking out 10 feet below the water surrounded by a school of colorful fish is a surreal sight. If you’re scuba certified, you can pack a waterproof camera and take an unforgettable selfie with the Christ of the Abyss.

251 County Rd 905
Key Largo, Florida
United States

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