Now We Know What Is At The Bottom Of Belize’s Blue Hole
A team of scientists that went on a cutting-edge mission to the bottom of Belize’s Great Blue Hole returned with exciting findings.
To begin with, the Great Blue Hole is the most massive sinkhole in the world. It measures approximately 984 feet or 300 meters wide and 400 feet or 125 meters deep.
The team included many people, among them Richard Branson, the virgin billionaire, and Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of Jacques Cousteau, who was an underwater explorer and the one who placed the Blue Hole on the map in 1971.
The mission began in December 2018 with a determination to find out the mysteries and secrets at the base of the Blue Hole.
The expedition used two submarines to capture the footage and new images inside Belize’s Great Blue Hole and came up with the first 3D map of its interior.
Erika Bergman, the chief pilot, operations manager, and oceanographer, told CNN Travel that they did a complete 360 sonar map and that it was almost finished.
We did our complete 360 sonar map, and that map is now almost complete. It’s this mesh-layered, sonar scan of the entire thousand-foot diameter hole.
Bergman says one of the most surprising findings at the base of the Great Blue Hole was stalactites, type of icicles-shaped mineral creations about 407 feet deep into the hole. She explained that stalactites had never been discovered there before.
Generally, Bergman says the entire underwater experience in dark depths was pretty inconceivable.
Hydrogen Sulfide Layer
Another wild thing about Belize’s Great Blue Hole is the hydrogen sulfide layer. Bergman states that the layer is placed approximately 300 feet deed, and it cuts out the plunging divers and light into darkness.
When you get to that point, you lose all the Caribbean sunlight, and everything turns entirely dark. Also, it’s anoxic down there, and there is no life.
Nevertheless, the high-resolution sonar helped the team to see all the intricate features of the hole. Bergman says that you can see the hunk of a wall or stalactite from 20 or 30 meters away.
The team found many things they couldn’t identify at the bottom of the hole, among them some unidentifiable tracks that Bergman says are open to interpretation.
Free From Trash
It’s quite pleasing to know that the team found no trash at all at the bottom of the Blue Hole. Bergman explains that apart from three small pieces of plastic, the place was clean. He applauded the Belize Audubon Society for their work of protecting the hole.
Additionally, it comes out clear that there’s a minimal noticeable human impact. Bergman says:
“It’s neat that there are spaces on our planet — and most of them in the oceans – that is exactly the way they were thousands of years ago and will remain exactly the way they are thousands of years in the future.”
On the 2nd day of December 2018, the Blue Hole Belize 2018 Expedition was live-streamed on Discovery Channel.
The main aim was to broadcast live from the bottom of Belize’s Great Blue Hole. While this was challenging, the team found a better way to bring their experience to the people.
The team leaped to the base of the Blue Hole a day before and live-streamed from the ship, which got them clear and open footage a few hours before the live stream.
Bergman and the entire team are on the lookout for innovative ways to convey images from the ocean to the handheld devices.
She name-checks the International Space Station, as well as how astronauts live-message from space or sky, thus bringing the people there along with them.
Bergman says that drawing people into all that and the way they are captivated about astronauts will provide an opportunity to relate with the exploration of Deep Ocean, and she feels it should live stream by live interaction.
After the dive that happened on December 2, vessels kept an eye on the site for two weeks to gather all the data they needed for the making of the 360-degree sonar map.
Bergman confirmed that the team did not leave any equipment behind except their footprints, and took only pictures.
The team is planning an expedition to be to the British Virgin Islands. While they are not planning to broadcast it live, hopes are that it will as well get equally exciting findings and footage.