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The Amazing Museum of Man in the Sea

For centuries, divers of all kinds have plundered the Gulf of Mexico. Some sought treasure from pirates. Others pursued dangerous and gorgeous marine life.

Regardless of what brought them to the water, they all had something in common- a love for the water (or, in the case of the pirates, a love for gold).

The Museum of Man in the Sea is an exploration of diving culture, from pirates to thrill-seekers, scientists to volunteers. The Museum of Man in the Sea looks at what doesn’t belong in the water, man, and how our continuous pursuit of more has brought us deep into the seas. It is an unconventional yet mesmerizing museum attraction for all ages, and easily one of the most unique museums of Panama City Beach.

What Can You Find?

The main goal of the museum is to maintain a historical record of diving culture in and around Panama City Beach. It promotes scientific knowledge and understanding of underwater environments and the tools man used to see and experience the deep waters.

The museum will immediately draw you in with what is sitting in the parking lot. Outside, you can find the Sealab-1, billed as the world’s first working underwater habitat. It was built and tested by the U.S. Navy in Panama City Beach during the 1960s. Four men spent 11 days in this submersible to test the effects of living in such a small space with no air for so long.

The bulk of the museum is actually right outside. When you explore the museum, you are greeted by diving artifacts and oddities. There’s a whole lot of iron, man’s main tool of traversing the deep seas. There are diving bells used in dives throughout history. You can also find some interesting items, like old bathyspheres. These were spherical deep sea submersibles which were lowered deep into the ocean by a cable. While they are not widely used now, and certainly not often manned, they are still a fascinating part of diving history.

There are large-scale tools used for deep sea excavation resting outside. This includes the Techdiver, which actually scooped up an atom bomb which accidentally falls into the ocean in 1966.

Also see the Beaver, a popular exploring vessel from the 1970s. Just one look and you could see how nimble and small you needed to be a diver. It truly is amazing.

One of the best ocean attractions is a series of diving outfits used throughout history. You can track the outfit changes over time, seeing what was dropped and added to make the diving uniform more practical.

Inside Attractions

There are some items inside as well, but you have to explore every nook and cranny to find them all. The walls are lined with sketches, photographs, excavation tools, mines, breathing tubes, leather sacks, pot helmets, cooking utensils, and a whole lot of rocks. These were used to keep divers from floating away and were standard equipment for an old-school diver. There are so many bizarre goodies hidden away in this museum.

Museum Details

The Museum of Man in the Sea is one of the most unique museums of Panama City beach and it would be a great family activity for your next beach vacation.

This museum is a delightful treat for anyone who admires the weird and wild world of the undersea. You can see large-scale vessels outside and unique little artifacts inside.

The museum is located at 17314 Panama City Beach Pkwy, Panama City Beach, FL 32413. Admission is $5 per person. Depending on your interest in the topic, you can see the museum in about 30 minutes to two hours. Though it would realistically take days to see every little item shelved inside.

For diving enthusiasts, this is the best of all the Museums in Panama City, FL. There are also plenty more family-fun attractions nearby. We have Panama city beach condo rentals for the season, including 2-bedroom condos and larger-sized escapes for your whole crew.