Call us biased, but some of the most beautiful galleries in the world lie hidden in the ocean. From mermaids to submerged saints and 400-figure-strong communities, some statues just look better underwater. But beauty is only skin deep, and these enchanting galleries also serve an important role: to promote coral growth and serve as artificial reefs. While they may enter the water shiny and new, as time passes, these underwater sculptures become encrusted with vibrant corals, turning the site into a living, ever-changing artwork. Seeing a stark sculpture embellished with the bright colours of corals also serves as an important reminder of the need for ocean conservation. But don't take our word for it, see for yourself and check out some of the world's most incredible underwater statues.

Vicissitudes, The Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park, Grenada

Located off the coast of Grenada, the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park is a masterpiece created by British artist Jason deCaires Taylor. Created in 2006, this was the first underwater sculpture park in the world and showcases a collection of life-sized sculptures representing the inhabitants of a nearby fishing village. Out of the 75 works, Vicissitudes is perhaps the most famous. The piece, symbolizing unity, features a ring of children facing out while holding hands.

Ocean Atlas, The Bahamas

Ocean Atlas, situated off the coast of Nassau in the Bahamas, is the largest underwater statue in the world. Another creation from Jason deCaires Taylor, the sculpture depicts a young Bahamian girl holding the weight of the ocean above her. Towering at 18ft and weighing 60 tonnes - roughly the same weight as an adult humpback whale - this poignant piece serves as a reminder of our responsibility to protect and preserve the oceans. The statue forms the focal point of the BREEF Coral Reef Sculpture Garden and Coral Nursery, which, created in 2014, is the largest underwater gallery in the world.

The Silent Evolution, Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA), Mexico

Off the coast of Cancún and Isla Mujeres in Mexico, the Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA) is a vast underwater museum featuring over 500 sculptures created by various artists. That's a hell of lot of seabed to cover, so we recommend diving MUSA a few times to take in all the underwater sculptures. However, if you're strapped for time, fin kick straight to The Silent Evolution. Another creation by Jason deCaires Taylor, this installation features a congregation of 400 life-sized sculptures walking towards the horizon.

Underwater Grotto, Bohol, the Philippines

It's no secret that the Philippines, located in the Coral Triangle, is one of the most biodiverse marine regions in the world. And for those struggling to pick where to dive next, Bohol's main trump over the other islands lies in Danahon Reef. Not only is Danahon Reef one of the few double reefs in the world - and the only one in the Philippines - this reef also houses two giant underwater statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Santo Niño, or young Jesus. The 14ft religious statues were submerged 18 metres below the surface to deter illegal fishing, especially the use of dynamite and cyanide.

Amphitrite Statue, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Every year, divers across the world flock to Grand Cayman to pay tribute to the goddess of the sea, Amphitrite. Created by Canadian artist and dive fanatic Simon Morris, Amphitrite, the wife of Poseidon, is a nine-foot tall, 600-pound mermaid statue, submerged at 16 metres on Sunset Reef. Amphitrite is the second underwater mermaid statue from Simon, while the first identical mermaid, The Emerald Princess, can be found in Powell River in British Columbia, Canada.

Guardian of the Reef, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Another creation by Simon Morris, the Guardian of the Reef stands proud on Divetech's shore reef, in front of Light House Point in West Bay, Grand Cayman. The 17ft tall bronze statue lives up to its namesake, as a percentage of the proceeds earned by divers visiting the sculpture goes towards conservation programmes.

BASK Nest, Lombok, Indonesia

Off the coast of Gili Meno in Lombok, Indonesia, lies an ethereal underwater installation known as BASK Nest. Another creation by (you guessed it) Jason deCaires Tayler, this submerged 48-figure-strong circle of life-sized sculptures encircles more figures resting on the floor. Since it's been planted, the figures have become encrusted with corals, sponges and a variety of macro species. The final aim? For the figures to slowly disappear into the reef.