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The Legendary Blue Hole

15 January 2010 22 Comments

Like a giant pupil in a sea of turquoise, the Belize Blue Hole has become the most famous dive site in all of Belize and continues to attract divers from all over the world, vivid of exploring the numerous wonders of this spectacular geographical phenomenon.

The Blue Hole is part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a World Heritage Site of the UNESCO, it lies approximately 60 miles off the mainland out of Belize City.

The site was popularized by Jean-Jacques Cousteau, a French naval officer, explorer, ecologist and scientist, who explored the Blue Hole in 1970 and declared it one of the top ten scuba diving sites in the world.

The Belize Blue Hole is a perfectly circular limestone sinkhole more than 300 feet across and 412 feet deep, making it the largest of its kind in the world. During the last glacial period, when sea levels were much lower, it was a series of dry, limestone caverns with entrances located above the water. The residues left by constant dripping of water over millions of years also formed the huge, forty foot long stalactites and stalagmites that decorate the cavers deep within the Blue Hole. When the ice melted, the ocean began to rise, the caves flooded and the roof then crashed 400 feet down to the floor of the sinkhole.

A dive into the Blue Hole typically involves a careful descent over the rim, down to around 130 feet. One the way down to this undersea mountain, divers face the wall to avoid disorientation and thus can also watch the colorful corals and sponges, barracuda, angelfish and other invertebrates that live along the first 30 feet of the Blue Hole’s walls. At about 110 feet deep, divers will begin to encounter stalactite formations which angle back, allowing you to dive underneath monstrous overhangs. The water is motionless and the visibility often approaches 200 feet as you break a very noticeable thermocline. In the deeper water of the Blue Hole, you might see a Blacktip Reek Shark or Hammerhead Shark. At depths of more than 200 feet, there are openings to a series of caverns. But this part of the Blue Hole has been little explored and should only be entered by fully equipped, highly experienced cave divers because of the dangers due to the changes in depth and decreased visibility.

For anyone interested in diving into the geologic past, exploring the Blue Hole is guaranteed to be a rewarding and unforgettable experience.

The icon of Belize is waiting for you to reveal its mystery…..

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