Italian swimmer and diver Duilo Merchant wanted a symbol to inspire those who loved and explored the sea. The result was a statue of Christ, with arms outstretched and gazing updward. Originally casted in 1954, a total of three 4,000 pound bronze statues have been made from that mold and placed underwater. The first casting stands beneath the waters of the Mediterranean Sea; the third one rests on the ocean floor at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Florida.
The statue in Florida is known as Christ of the Deep and is one of the most-photographed dive sites in the world. It's also a popular site for underwater marriages. Some divers view Christ's posture as one of praise and prayer; others see it as Christ inviting lovers of the sea to come to him.