This Mission Finally Discovered What Is Inside ‘The Great Blue Hole’
The Blue Hole of Belize, also known as the Great Blue Hole, is a pure paradise for water-lovers, especially divers. Many surfed and cruised around the dark blue water area for decades. Only a few actually dared to venture more in-depth and explore what lies beyond the blackness.
So, scientists, conservations, Sir Richard Branson and Jacques Cousteau’s explorer grandson Fabien Cousteau, teamed up to explore the depths of the Blue Hole and create a 3D map. Only what they would discover would leave them shocked and frightened.
30. Caribbean Quest
Fabien Cousteau is one of the world’s most prominent deep-sea explorers. He is especially interested in ocean conversation.
So, in 2018 he decided to help the world know what lies in the deep blue waters of Belize. At the time, he had no idea that this vast sinkhole will leave him voiceless.
29. Extraordinary Belize Reef
The Belize Barrier Reef stretches from Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula southward to Honduras. After the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, this is the world’s largest reef.
Even Charles Darwin said that it was “the most remarkable reef in the West Indies.” How would Darwin react to certain Belize discoveries?
28. The Famous Blue Hole
At the center of the Belize Barrier Reef, lies the famous Blue Hole. This is a Mecca for scuba divers.
For divers to get the privilege to explore this mysterious ocean area, 24 dives prior to Blue Hole are mandatory. The size of this Blue Hole will leave you speechless.
27. The Blue Hole True Size
The Blue Hole is so massive that it can hold two Boeing 747 planes. Even then, more space will be.
Because of its dark blue color, people prefer to stay away from this yawning underwater sinkhole. So, what lies hidden?
26. Family Business
For Fabien Cousteau, this mission was special. His grandfather was the world-famous French oceanographer, Jacques Cousteau.
Jacques was the one who declared the Blue Hole to be one of the top five diving spots on Earth. Fabien wanted to honor his grandfather’s work through this mission. Now, he had the right equipment and one legendary person on his side.
25. Virgin Voyage
Sir Richard Branson, an English business mogul, and passionate conservationist, joined Fabien for this ocean adventure.
Fabien, Richard, and oceanographer Erika Bergman worked together to organize this under-the-ocean voyage. While planning their journey, the famous trio had no idea what lurked on them from the deep.
24. Climate Change Awareness
Sir Richard Branson is globally-known for using his position as a billionaire and public figure to address some of the world’s most burning questions.
In 2006, he made the announcement that he would personally allocate the profits from his airline and train empire to fight global warming. Still, he had no idea that his passion for the environment would lead him to this discovery.
23. Huge Media Coverage
When you have Branson and Fabien working together, the media coverage is obligatory. Their mission was different than any mission before, so every media wanted a piece of this story.
The high profile of the participants in the mission only confirmed that this mission is enormous.
22. An Underwater Expedition
The now-famous trio used the latest Aquatica submarine to explore one of the unique places on the Planet.
The Aquatica submarine had a huge cupola over the top, providing views inside, in front, behind, and to their side.
21. First Ten Minutes
After only ten minutes in the submarine, the team began to see the walls of the Blue Hole.
It was obvious that this underwater side looked identical, like a crater that had been created from the impact of a celestial body. Then they approached closer.
20. Blue Hole Caves
Caves are regular occurrences in the underwater world. However, these caves were extraordinary.
The Aquatica showed that these caves went through some interesting geological processes that were characteristical for ground caves. So, how did these caves submerged?
19. An Apocalyptic Warning
Seeing cave stalactites underwater was a reminder that the ice is melting. This was a real reminder that climate change is happening.
Branson noticed the shift in the coloring under the water and above the water. To his surprise, another mission talked about these differences.
18. Mineral Layers
Several years before Richard, Erika, and Fabien dived the Great Blue Hole, a team of researchers had a mission – to document the chemical structure of its wall.
They collected the rock sediment from the Blue Hoel, for one reason only – they wanted to see if there is any link between the Blue Hole and the decline of civilization on land in Belize. What they discovered could be the discovery of one of the world’s biggest mysteries.
17. Drop Of Civilization
The original inhabitants of Belize had been the great Maya civilization. For centuries no one could understand why this great civilization disappear.
Now, it’s clear that the answer could easily be in the Blue Hole.
16. Disappearance Of The Mayans
The samples from the Blue Hole sediment showed deficient levels of aluminum and titanium. These elements are usually worn out of rocks.
From there, they would enter the water, mostly during tropical storms. This means that Maya decline due to a horrible dryness.
15. The Dead Zone
When the recent expedition almost reached the end of the Blue Hole, Fabien noticed something that kept the living creatures away.
There was a 20 feet thick, layer of hydrogen sulfide. This was the perfect opportunity to do some tests before they reach their final destination.
14. The Bottom Of The Blue Hole
They had to pass the hydrogen sulfide sheet to reach the bottom of the Great Blue Hole. This was a big moment for Fabien.
He could now finally expand the work of his grandfather. So, how did the bottom look?
13. Ground Level
Now, everyone could finally see how the bottom of the Blue Hole looked. First, it was beautiful.
Secondly, the entire bottom was covered with something. What they found of the bottom left them speechless.
12. Human Factor
The submarine carefully moved the sea bed to show what was covering the bottom ground. The entire ground was covered with masses of plastic pollution.
The endless pile of plastic bottles created an underwater garbage dump. At that moment, Richard knew what had to be done.
11. Plastic Monsters
Suddenly, this expedition was a harsh reminder of how much can humans affect the environment. Moreover, how much plastic can contribute to pollution.
Beautiful Belize couldn’t avoid this pollution. Shockingly, there was one more unexpected discovery.
10. Other Divers
Erika shared that they also found a resting place of a couple of people, probably from the divers who got lost exploring the Belize bottom.
They informed the government where these bodies could be found. Now, it was time for concrete action steps.
9. Longterm Goals
During this mission, Sir Richard realized that he needs to put more effort into promoting awareness of the real condition of the ocean.
So, the team created a new and more significant goal. The original mission asked for help from people all around the world.
8. Ocean Unite Goal
Sir Richard Branson partnered up with Ocean Unite to create a long term action. As a result, they agreed on one action – to combat pollution.
He even met with the Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, and his wife. It was clear that something big was happening.
7. For The Better Future
The Prime Minister of Belize supported the Branson’s idea – to keep 30 percent of world oceans as a protected area.
Therefore, they agreed to place 10 percent off of Belize’s national territorial waters under the protection and to ban grill nets.
6. Implementing Change
Branson wanted to implement new actions in his own business systems. Therefore, from that moment on, it was forbidden to use single-use plastic inside the Virgin Group.
He added that he wants his grandchildren to witness the beauty of the ocean in 2050. So, he pledges himself to save the environment.
5. Belize’s Pledge
Moreover, the leadership bodies of Belize made a step forward and pledges to phase out single-use plastic during 2019.
In the meantime, Branson continued doing more for the environment. He even spends countless hours volunteering in different places.
4. Doing More
Sir Richard Branson is involved in numerous charity events, substantial charity actions, and different NGOs, all related to the preservation of the environment.
He even initiated a campaign to set aside an entire island only for Madagascar’s lemur species. This species is, at the moment, endangered.
Branson is also a member of the organization OceanElders, dedicated to raising environmental issues.
Moreover, this group is made of influential celebrities and artists. So, what are the more prominent names doing about the pollution problem?
2. Plastic Problems
Problems with plastic are present all around the globe. This pollution is not strictly reserved for Belize. Lately, people are addressing the pollution problem.
Therefore, global leaders, influencers, and various celebrities are working on helping and saving the Earth.
1. Different Foundations
Some famous people did so much already, including Leonardo DiCaprio. After Titanic, Leonardo founded a Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to express the goal of strengthening organizations devoted to environmental work.
One branch of his foundation is the Plastic Solutions Fund. This foundation has one clear goal – to create the non-plastic world by 2035.