Key Largo Dry Rocks

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Coordinates: 25 ° 7 ′ 51.4 ″  N , 80 ° 17 ′ 39.2 ″  W.

Relief Map: Florida
North Dry Rocks

The Key Largo Dry Rocks (also just "Dry Rocks") are a coral reef within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary , a nature reserve off the Florida Keys . It is located east of Key Largo , just east of the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park . The reef is located in the protected zone (Sanctuary Preservation Area, SPA) near the Grecian Rocks and "The Elbow".


The reef is round and is three meters deep on the side facing the coast and nine meters on the side facing away. It is an inner bank reef that has characteristics of bank reefs and spotted reefs further offshore . On the side facing away from the coast there is a short channel system in front of the reef and the reef roof and the reef are characterized by large hard coral formations. Elk antler corals ( Acropora palmanta ) standing on the reef roof reach up to about one meter at high tide and about 30 centimeters below the water surface at low tide. Numerous passages and corridors run through the reef.

The reef is followed by a sandy bottom, which is also home to hard corals. The entire reef is surrounded by a sandy bottom and seagrass meadows .

"Christ of the Abyss"

In the southern part of the reef there is a copy of the Italian Cristo degli abissi ("Christ of the Abyss"), an approximately 2.5 to 3 meter high bronze statue of a figure of Christ with outstretched arms. It stands on a concrete plinth that is set up on the sandy floor between two large coral sticks. The statue was erected in 1966 and was a gift from the Italian diving equipment supplier Egidio Cressi to the Underwater Society of America .

The statue is - like all the hard material of the reef - overgrown with corals. These are small colonies of star corals ( Astroides calycularis ) and coasts of fire corals (genus Millepora ). Directly in front of the figure is a large and old block of brain coral .


The Key Largo Dry Rocks are one of the most popular dive sites in the Florida Keys , and are used by snorkelers and scuba divers alike. When the sea is rough, the water clarity decreases due to the turbulence, but when the sea is calm, the reef is described as a “fabulous dive site” with visibility of up to 15 meters.

The "Christ of the Abyss" is a special attraction and has made the reef particularly popular for underwater weddings. According to a source from 1997, around 200 weddings per year took place here, some with ceremonies that were comparable in size to that of country weddings.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f Stephen Frinck, William J. Harrigan: Florida Keys - Diving Guide. Jahr Verlag, Hamburg 1997. ISBN 3-86132-245-5 .


  • Stephen Frinck, William J. Harrigan: Florida Keys Dive Guide . Jahr Verlag, Hamburg 1997. ISBN 3-86132-245-5 .

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