The Middle East has seen its share of battles and wars. Next time one goes there, consider visiting a military museum to learn about the often troubled history of the region. In Jordan, one can do even better than that. Imagine an underwater military museum!
But still, nowhere in the world is likely to be more impressive than the wrecks of the Japanese navy at Chuuk (Truk) Lagoon called "Ghost Fleet of Truk Lagoon" in Micronesia. Another incredible site (but also very expensive) is the sunken American nuclear fleet at Bikini Atoll (the fleet was sunken by the American's testing nuclear bombs on them).
Jordan's Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea
The coastal Jordanian city of Aqaba is at the very tip of the Red Sea and is a very popular diving area. According to Dive in Aqaba, here one can see 500 species of coals and 1,200 species of fish as well as 1,000 types of mollusks and crustaceans.
Dive Sites: There Are Over 20 Dive Sites in Aqaba
Aqaba has a mild climate and is great for year-round scuba diving. It is known as an ideal place for scuba diving and has over 20 dive sites along the coastline. Most of these sites are protected in the Aqaba Marine Park and the sites range from slopes to drops-offs, canyons to flat bottoms, from manmade underwater museums to flourishing corals.
Summer Water Temperature: Around 26 Degrees Celsius (79 Degrees Fahrenheit)
Winter Water Temperature: Drops to 20 Degrees Celsius (68 Degrees Fahrenheit)
There are plenty of other wrecks and other manmade underwater attractions along this short coastline. One of the most famous dive sites is the wreck of the Cedar Pride. She was a Lebanese freighter that sunk in 1985 (at a maximum depth of 26 meters).
Wreck: Visit The Wreck of The Cedar Pride Freighter
Other things to check out include an anti-aircraft tracked vehicle (called The Tank), a Hercules C130, and a Lockheed Tristar (wide-bodied aircraft) - in addition to the underwater military museum. Coral reefs to see include the Seven Sisters, the Black Rock, the Japanese Gardens, and more.
The World's First Underwater Military Museum
In Jordan's Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea just across from Israel's Eilat is the world's first Underwater Military Museum. It is a very unique idea of what a museum can be and is an intrigue to snorkelers and divers.
"Despite the name, we would not describe this dive site as a military museum, at least not in the traditional sense of word. The scuttling of military vehicles is building a bridge between Jordan's turbulent past and the peaceful future, creating new life in the ocean."
Underneath the waves, one will see a watery museum of tanks, a military crane, a troop carrier, an ambulance, an anti-aircraft gun, and helicopters. The museum was only opened in 2019, so as time rolls by, one can expect to see more corals and other marine life coating and claiming the former weapons of war.
Military Items: Tanks, a Crane, A Troop Carrier, An Ambulance, Helicopters
Dive in these waters and see 21 objects of battles placed beneath the water. The machines of war have been placed along the coral reefs and are attractions for the fish and marine life as much as they are for divers. They have been placed to imitate a battle tactical formation.
It took 7 working days to sink 19 military items and to ensure that the process didn't affect the local marine life. Before these weapons of war were placed in the ocean, all dangerous materials were removed from them in an effort to comply with good environmental practices.
The vehicles were placed so as to also help promote the recovery of the natural reefs. It helps relieve pressure on the reefs by channeling tourists away from the reef and to another site.
Diving And Exploring The Underwater Military Museum
The objects have been placed at varying depths. 8 of the objects are at depths of 15 to 20 meters. 11 other objects are placed at 20 to 28 meters below the surface. Two more objects are at 5 meters in depth.
By placing them at different depths they have enabled people to explore them in three different ways. Visitors can take a tour of them in a glass-bottom boat, or they can snorkel over them, or they can scuba dive them.
The plans are for the exhibit to continue to grow and more objects are planning to join the watery museum.
Depth: 16-28 meters (Two Objects At 5 Meters)
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Access: Scuba Dive, Snorkel, Glass Bottom Boat
Visibility: 10-30 Meters
Off the coast of Georgia in the United States, one can find a number of artificial reefs that have been in part constructed out of tanks and New York City subway cars.