The world is wonderful with its mountains and plateaus, rivers and rapids, plants and the animal kingdom. However, there is also a fascinating world in the realm of the underwater. Apart from the marvels of the nature, there are some man-made incredible wonders that can make people dumbfounded.
Ithaa Restaurant, Alif Dhaal Atoll, Maldives
Ithaa means mother of pearl and is one of the most exciting restaurants in the world. Built 16 feet (5 m) below sea level in Maldives, the restaurant is equipped to entertain 14 guests at a time. The guests get in by a spiral staircase from a jetty and find themselves in a space with a striking panoramic underwater view. The restaurant, which is part of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort, provides views to the reef and various fish species, circumnavigating the transparent structure. The menu features dishes from a contemporary European and Asian cuisines.
Jules’ Undersea Lodge
Located 30 feet deep on the ocean floor, Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida, was opened in 1986. Originally, the underwater building served as a laboratory and belonged to a researcher Ian Koblick. Later, the underwater construction lost its original function and was converted into the hotel. Situated at the bottom of the Emerald Lagoon, is named after the famous novelist Jules Verne, the author of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Scuba certification is required for entrance as the front door is located 21 feet (6.4 m) under water. The hotel offers a single suite with two bedrooms, a modern bathroom and a small living room.
The underwater construction is not just a simple eco-friendly hotel, it also serves as an artificial reef and thus provides comfortable living conditions for marine inhabitants.
Underwater Post Office, Vanuatu
Situated within the Hideaway Island marine sanctuary, the underwater Post Office in Vanuatu sits in around three metres of water. Proposed by the local postmaster and a resort owner, it opened in 2003 as the world’s first underwater post office to literally make it possible for vacationers to send postcards back home from under the sea.
In case the visitors cannot duck-dive down that far, Hideaway Island staff will be on the spot to help out. Instead of being stamped with ink to show that the card has been sent, the Post office has developed a new embossed cancellation device.
The posts are collected on time at 3 p.m. each day. Out of hours the post cards can be posted in the underwater post box attached to the post office or taken to the main post office in town.
Underwater Sculpture Park, Grenada
Located in the Caribbean Sea off the west coast of Grenada, the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park is the world's first underwater sculpture park. Created by the British sculptor Jason de Caires Taylor, it was opened for public viewing in May 2006. The sculptures made of concrete and steel, were bolted to the ocean substrate. The collection of over 65 sculptures is home to a number of species, which include the banded coral shrimps, peacock flounder, juvenile striped parrot fish and fire worms. Though some of the pieces weigh as much as 15 tons, they are not resistant to the powers of the ocean and Taylor’s first work, Grace Reef, was torn to pieces by a hurricane.
One of the main sculptures in the park, called ‘Vicissitudes’ is a circle of life size figures cast from local children linked by holding hands. The ‘Lost Correspondent’ depicts a man at his desk working with a typewriter, while his desk is covered with historical newspaper cuttings including some documenting Grenada's involvement with Cuba. 'Man on a Bike' depicts a life-size man cycling along a reef.