Lake Michigan has been successfully attracting visitors for decades now, thanks to its record-breaking facts. That includes its geographical measurements, people, and wildlife that surround the lake.
But this March it wasn't these that welcomed hundreds of people on a single day.
It was a life-sized underwater sculpture of Jesus Christ, dating all the way back to 1956. The story behind its journey from Italy to the U.S. is as tragic as the view of the sculpture is fascinating.
It was meant to be a memorial for a teenage boy who died over fifty years ago.
Eventually, the statue was purchased by a local divers' club and placed in the lake as a tribute to all those who lost their lives in the water. According to one diver, coming to see the statue is a spiritual experience, and he's seen that in the visitors' eyes.
Lake Michigan draws people in for many reasons.Live Science, Lake Michigan has the third largest surface area of the 3 Great Lakes.
But it's the only one of them to fully belong to the U.S.
Around twelve million people live on the shores of the lake.
The lake water is usually about 60 degrees in July and August.
Interestingly, the water in Lake Michigan has an unusual circulatory pattern.Live Science.
Normally, the lake doesn't freeze over because of the winds and waves they cause.
The wildlife in and around the lake is just as fascinating.
As for the fish, "trout, salmon, walleye, and smallmouth bass fisheries are prevalent on the lake. The lake is also home to crawfish, freshwater sponges and sea lamprey, a metallic violet species of eel."
"Predatory birds such as hawks and vultures are also prevalent on the lake, due to the wealth of wildlife to feast upon."
But last weekend it wasn't the wildlife that drew crowds of people to the lake.Daily Mail says they were there "for the chance of catching a glimpse of a rare sight."
It's 11 ft. long and weighs 1,850 lb. The marble statue is a religious symbol.
Since it depends entirely on the weather, this year visitors were very lucky.
There was enough time for 1,200 people to check it out.According to Daily Mail, the statue is 5'5" and features Christ on the cross.
It seems to be the only one of this type of underwater sculptures in the world.
Lots of ice on the shores of Lake Michigan. ✈️ Heading to Las Ve… https://t.co/vP3RbVPJkh— Jessica Wheeler-Ponton (@Jessica Wheeler-Ponton)1552404346.0
It lies in the lake at 15 feet deep.
Night comes to Lake Michigan https://t.co/NanqXexhr3— Chris E Rosenthal (@Chris E Rosenthal)1551916504.0
Its story began in 1956, Inside Edition says.
Beautiful sunrise in Chicago Lake Michigan https://t.co/sr4u2c0KJq— David Bekele (@David Bekele)1552414028.0
His family ordered the sculpture from Italy as a tribute to the boy.
#frozen #frozenlake #lakemichigan VERY holy water: Hundreds flock to a frozen Lake Michigan to see an underwater,… https://t.co/O4YZwnsfLc— FFS (@FFS)1552411898.0
So it was put up for sale.
Lake Michigan📍Frozen Edition https://t.co/e9G1Cdw2PO— 𓁹 (@𓁹)1552259518.0
It was then lowered into the lake as a tribue to a diver who had died in the nearby Torch Lake.Over time, Inside Edition says, "the statue came to be a shrine for all who perished in water."
In 1985, the sculpture was moved closer to the shore.They had decided to do so because of the age of the statue and the sediment that started to gather.
The sculpture was opened to the public for the first time in 1986.
A giant underwater Jesus, guys. Giant. Underwater. Jesus. Does this mean all of Lake Michigan is holy water? https://t.co/ip0j5h3de2— 𝕆CT𝕆R𝕆B𝕆R𝕆S (@𝕆CT𝕆R𝕆B𝕆R𝕆S)1552412153.0
Since then, the event kept getting cancelled because of the weather.
#FrozenJesus sounds like an @E40 slang for grape wine. #LakeMichigan #UnderwaterJesus https://t.co/TZZxFE00Qj— Laszlo (@Laszlo)1552319430.0
They were told to look for a tent covering the viewing hole.
@DailyMail @MailOnline Guessing Jesus couldn't walk on water after all!— Leon O'Neil (@Leon O'Neil)1552380433.0
"Look for the tent — no tent, no event," warned the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau.
@DailyMail @MailOnline Oh Jesus was so down to earth.— गैंडाज आर् गैंडाज (@गैंडाज आर् गैंडाज)1552381877.0