With Belize’s stunning Great Blue Hole in the running to become the new 8th Wonder of the World, as mentioned in our blog post of June 5, we thought it only appropriate to give a bit more of a description of this incredible natural phenomenon.
First of all, it’s big. Over 300 metres (984 ft) across and 127 metres (407 ft) deep it can be seen from outer space.
Secondly, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. With every shade of blue imaginable ranging from the deepest indigo to aquamarine and turquoise and surrounded with a riot of colour from tropical fish, corals and other marine life, it’s a feast for the senses.
Third, it’s part the Belize Great Barrier Reef system, the second largest barrier reef in the world, next to Australia’s, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This means that a visit to the Great Blue Hole gets you to Lighthouse Reef and in close proximity to the largest atolls in the world and other places of immense beauty such as Half Moon Caye and some of Belize’s other natural maritime wonders.
The Great Blue Hole is actually a giant sinkhole, an underwater version of the many cenotes scattered throughout the Belize and Yucatan mainland. It’s said to have been formed in stages some 150,000, 66,000, 60,000, and 15,000 years ago years when the oceans began to rise and limestone caves were flooded.
We know a fair amount about the reef thanks to one of its most famous visitors, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who was so smitten that he declared it one of the top ten scuba dives on the planet and returned with his ship the Calypso to investigate it more fully.
With all this going for it, you can see why the Great Blue Hole has been nominated as the Eighth Wonder of the World.
But don’t take our word for it….
Only some 70 km (43 miles) from Belize City it’s now quite easy to get to, but still retains that lovely, unspoiled atmosphere that captivated Captain Jacques and so many other visitors. Many people come to Belize strictly just to dive the Blue Hole, so if you happen to be in the country, it’s a definite bonus, and Chaa Creek can get you there easily and comfortably.
But if you can’t visit and take in its splendour for yourself, you can still vote to have the Great Blue Hole officially recognised as the 8th Wonder of the World. Just go to virtualtourist.com/8thwonder where you can cast a vote once a day until 30 September. By furthering worldwide recognition of the Blue Hole, you’ll help ensure that it’s protected by the global community for years to come.
In our June 5th blog post announcing the 8th Wonder of the World nominations, we asked if anyone could name all of the original Seven Wonders of the World as first listed by Herodotus. We identified two – the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Statue of Zeus at Olympia – and promised we’d publish the remaining five.
And here they are:
- The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
- The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
- The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
- The Colossus of Rhodes and
- The Lighthouse of Alexandria
In future posts we’ll have more information on the voting for the 8th Wonder of the World and provide some of the more modern, updated 7 Wonders lists (hint – The Great Wall of China is one).
And don’t forget to vote!