The most fascinating blue holes in the world

5 fascinating blue holes

Photo: Getty Images

They are considered a diver’s paradise but these caves also pose great danger

Blue holes are among the most beautiful and impressive natural spectacles of the sea. The sinkholes are formed by cave crashes or the decomposition of limestone. They owe their name to the fact that, from the air, they look like a dark blue hole in the middle of shallow water. 

Last year, researchers discovered that the deepest hole of its kind to date can be found in the South China Sea. That’s reason enough to introduce you to the largest and most beautiful examples. 

  • Dragon Hole
  • Great Blue Hole
  • Dean’s Blue Hole
  • Blue Hole in Dahab
  • Special case: Zacatón
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Dragon Hole

Location: Paracel Islands, South China Sea
Diameter: 130 metres
Depth: 300 metres

The Dragon Hole has been known about for centuries. Local fishermen claim that it was here where the king from the sixteenth-century story Journey to the West found his famous golden staff. After a year of exploring, Chinese researchers discovered in July 2016 that the Dragon Hole is the deepest of its kind.

Great Blue Hole

Location: Lighthouse Reef, Belize
Diameter: 300 metres
Depth: 124 metres

The most famous is the Great Blue Hole off the coast of the Central American country Belize. It is one of the best diving areas in the world, at least since its exploration by renowned oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. At around 40 metres, experienced divers can penetrate a subterranean cave system teeming with impressive stalactites. Nestled in the second largest reef system in the world, the Belize Barrier Reef, it is a UNESCO World Heritage. Since 2009, however, the reef is on the red list of endangered world heritage locations.

One badass mother sucking hole. Just as pretty in person as it was online. #BlueHoleBelize

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Dean’s Blue Hole

Location: Long Island, Bahamas
Diameter: 25 to 30 metres
Depth: 202 metres

Until the measurement of the Dragon Hole, this was considered the world’s deepest blue hole. After 20 metres, its diameter widens to 100 metres, and it’s from here that the actual cave system of the second largest known underwater cave begins. The abundance of corals and reef fish makes Dean’s Blue Hole a paradise for both leisure and freedivers. The latter compete annually in the Vertical Blue competitions, this year taking place from 30 April to 10 May.

© Youtube // VB Freediving

Blue Hole in Dahab

Location: Dahab, Egypt
Diameter: 50 to 65 metres
Depth: 110 metres 

This blue hole is located on the coast of the Red Sea. It is one of the most visited dive locations in the world, despite containing mainly dead corals and little maritime life. At the same time, the Blue Hole of Dahab is considered possibly the most dangerous dive site in the world. Perhaps that’s the attraction? The reason for such danger is the tunnel through the reef known as “The Arch” which connects the hole to the open sea and sits about 55 metres deep. Between 1997-2011 alone, 130 divers died here.

Zacatón

Location: Tamaulipas, Mexico
Diameter: 116 metres
Depth: 339 metres

While blue holes can be found in the oceans, similar sinkholes called dolines are also found on land. The Zacatón is by far the deepest of its kind. Its name comes from the islands of zacate grass that float on the surface driven only by the wind. Because of its depth, the sinkhole is not only interesting for divers but many companies such as NASA test out exploration robots here.

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02 2017 The Red Bulletin

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