(All images by Stephen Armitage, reproduced with permission)
Beneath 25 feet of water off the coast of Key Largo, Florida, stands an eight foot tall statue of Jesus, facing the light above with arms borne aloft in praise. Known as Christ of the Abyss, or Il Cristo degli Abissi, the figure has become one of the region’s most popular attractions for divers and snorkelers alike.
Cast from the same mold as several similar statues across Europe and the Americas, including one off the coast of St. George’s, Grenada, and the original in the Mediterranean off San Fruttuoso, Italy, Christ of the Abyss was presented to the Underwater Society of America in 1962 and submerged near Dry Rocks in August, 1965.
In these photographs, divers Stephen Armitage and Piotr Lukasik explore the bronze statue and the marine life that lives around it. Positioned around six miles off Key Largo, the 9 ton Christ of the Abyss makes for a commanding sight in the hazy waters of the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.