Hundreds flock to a frozen Lake Michigan to see an underwater, 11ft marble crucifix with Jesus

Hundreds of people made the journey to the small northern Michigan town of Petoskey for the opportunity to catch a glimpse of a rare sight – a life-sized statue of Jesus Christ on the cross submerged in Lake Michigan.

Terrible weather has stopped anyone from getting a glimpse of the 11-ft., 1,850 lb. religious symbol made of marble since 2015, when a record-sized crowd of 2,021 people stood in a huge line for hours in frigid temperatures to see it.

There was no guarantee visitors to the site would get to see the cross this year, but this time, their prayers seemed to have been answered.

Lake Michigan is at the moment frozen and workers had to carve a hole through the ice on Saturday so that an estimated 1,200 sightseers could see the giant Jesus submerged under the water.

The colossal crucifix showcases a 5’5″ sculpture of Christ on the cross. It is said to be the only statue of its kind in the world that is submerged in freshwater.

The sculpture is located about 1,200 feet from the shore at the bottom of Little Traverse Bay, which has a total depth of 151 feet.

The story of how the statue got there is as interesting and tragic as the spectacle itself.

According to the story, the crucifix was made in Italy, commissioned by the family of a 15-year-old boy who passed away in a farm accident near Bad Axe, Michigan in 1956.

But the unnamed family were given word that the statue had been damaged and wanted a new one.

The one they discarded was later picked up by a local diving club member, who had it placed at the bottom of Lake Michigan in remembrance of a diver who drowned in nearby Torch Lake, Michigan.

Since then, the statue has turned into a shrine to honor those who have died on the water. The first public viewing of the idol was took place in 1986.

Dennis Jessick told The Detroit Free Press: ‘You can see when they look down in there, (and) when you talk to them and they don’t answer you — it’s a special time for these people. It’s an emotional thing for a lot of people.’

 

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