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    These Underwater Sculptures Are Beautiful But Eerie AF

    Let the enormity of the situation really ~sink~ in.

    Conservationist Spencer Arnold, is trying to raise awareness of a fragile ecosystem on a tiny Thai island.

    Pau Urgel Plaza / REX Shutterstock

    He sunk a series of underwater sculptures, called "Despair", near Ko Tao in Thailand.

    Ko Tao is a 12-km-square island and attracts over 400,000 tourists a year, which has a negative impact on the surrounding environment.

    Spencer Arnold / REX Shutterstock

    The location of the sculptures is in an area of the bay that had been devastated earlier in the year by a sunken fishing boat. The accident destroyed over 590 square metres of the reef.

    Arnold said, "These reef sculptures are a small part of the work we do here on Ko Tao."

    Spencer Arnold / REX Shutterstock

    "But they're my passion and complement our efforts to maintain the reef ecosystem on this heavily visited tourist destination."

    He also said, "The image of drowning faces gasping for air... is a haunting one for me."

    Spencer Arnold / REX Shutterstock

    "For me, it is a powerful image that describes my own relationship with despair, having spent the better part of my life fascinated by our planet and petrified by the rate at which it has been changed in my own short lifetime."

    Arnold based facial features of the sculptures on staff members from the project.

    Spencer Arnold / REX Shutterstock

    And they are now part of a restoration project Arnold's team, New Heaven Reef Conservation Program, has been working on for over 7 years.

    Pau Urgel Plaza / REX Shutterstock

    Parts of the sculptures came from emptied shells of Giant Clams (Tridacna) that were found discarded around the island.

    Spencer Arnold / REX Shutterstock

    Some were even being used as ash trays. Eugh.

    Arnold hopes that the sculptures will raise awareness for the plight of Ko Tao.

    Chad Scott / REX Shutterstock

    "It's my hope that these sculptures that I've created will bring some much needed awareness to these issues and encourage people to educate themselves, joining us in our work trying to restore these highly threatened reef ecosystems."

    Find out more about the New Heaven Reef Conservation Program here.

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