Malta’s Stunning Virtual Underwater Museum Is A Tribute To Our History


That there are impressive diving spots around Malta is something almost everyone knows. Even less are the people who have seen these sights with their own eyes. For those not so lucky to have ventured to the depths to view the various wrecks dotting our seabed, the solution is just a click away, thanks to a project fronted by the Malta Tourism Authority, the University of Malta and Heritage Malta, and supported by so many others.

The project itself

The Virtual Museum – Underwater Malta’s online platform brings underwater cultural heritage to the surface and into our homes. Using 3D, virtual reality and other media, the aim of the website is to provide access to and share Malta’s unique underwater cultural heritage with all members of the public.

Using rebreather technology, powerful cameras and special underwater lights to systematically record the sites, high-resolution imagery obtained by divers was then converted to 3D and virtual reality models.

Interactive map showing each wreck’s location

The process, called photogrammetry, created digital 3D models via overlapping thousands of photos. Depending on the wreck and water visibility, hundreds or thousands of photos are required. And for you photography aficionados, the overlap between each consecutive photograph is around 80%.

The wrecks

Onto the good stuff – the actual wrecks. The museum has a total of 14 sites for visitors to look at, varying between ships, submarines and aeroplanes. Of course, it’s not simply the variety of wreck that’s impressive; it’s the ages of some of them.

One of the dive sites is a Phoenician shipwreck, dating back to 7BC. You can watch a video of the wreck here, a wreck located at a depth of 110 metres outside Xlendi Bay in Gozo.

A 3D image of the wreck

Quite honestly, there are too many incredible images to enjoy for us to include in just one article. That’s why we encourage each and every one of our readers to take the virtual tour beneath the waves and see the other side of our beautiful island that we too often forget about!