The second deepest underwater sink hole – The Great Blue Hole recently underwent some major exploration.
WHAT IS A SINKHOLE?
A sinkhole is a depression or hole in the ground caused by some form of collapse of the surface layer. They are mostly caused by the chemical dissolution of carbonate rocks or suffusion processes. Sinkholes vary in size from 3.3 to 2,000 both in diameter and depth, and vary in form from soil-lined bowls to bedrock-edged chasms. Sinkholes may form gradually or suddenly, and are found worldwide.
WHERE IS THE GREAT BLUE HOLE?
The Great Blue hole is located around 70 kilometers off the cost of Belize City. It is situated right underneath a UNESCO World Heritage Site – The Belize Barrier which is the world’s second largest coral reef.
Although famous among divers since its discovery in 1971 by marine researcher Jacques Cousteu, it has never been explored in depth and most of it is still a mystery.
However, recently, Richard Branson teamed up with Aquatica Submarines along with his group of scientists and divers to explore the unknown.
As beautiful as the view from above is, as void the view at the bottom. The depth of 124 meters is just a round, dark circle about 318 meters in diameter.
An underwater live stream graced us all with this marvel, last Sunday. Inside the turquoise water and coral reef, a great many things were discovered.
The discovery of stalactites proved that the Great Blue Hole previously had been a cave system. The evidence shows that sea levels were once much lower, and rose dramatically due to climate change and may contain evidence of environmental influences that led to the decline of the Mayan civilization between 800 and 1,000 AD.
When the team reached the bottom, they were in for quite a shock. They discovered the lack of oxygen in water at such a deep level, made any form of life impossible. As such, crabs, and similar organisms that found their way in this great sinkhole would have no chance of surviving.
This morose factor however was made worse when the sea bed came into sight. Littered with plastic waste along with the carcasses of marine life that couldn’t survive, it was a mess!
The aim of this expedition was to raise awareness of conservation of marine life and help protect the ocean.