From a bird’s eye view, the Earth seems perfectly round, but, in fact, there are a lot of different mountains and depressions on it. Scientists have already studied volcanoes and water depths quite well, but some parts of our home planet still remain unexplored. These places include the so-called “blue holes” – underwater caves and vertical depressions that were formed millions of years ago. In photographs, they look like dark blue circles off the coast of the continents. Since they are underwater, their study is still given to scientists with great difficulty. However, very soon American researchers will start exploring some of the most mysterious holes located on the Florida coast. What can they find at a depth of several hundred meters?
What is a blue hole?
Despite the fact that “blue holes” are difficult to study, several interesting facts are already known about them. According to scientists, these depressions were formed during the Ice Age, when the water level on our planet was 100-120 meters lower than now. Under the influence of torrential rains, loose limestone rocks were washed out and deep pits formed in their places. After the ice age, the once dry land was again submerged. As a result of these natural processes, these most mysterious holes were formed.
They should not be confused with cenotes – sinkholes that formed when the vaults of limestone caves with groundwater collapsed. There are especially many such natural formations on the Yucatan Peninsula, on the territory of which representatives of the Mayan people once lived. Civilization, whose history is still shrouded in secrets, used these formations for sacrifices. It was believed that these cavities are the gates to the kingdom of the dead and the water in them has magical properties. So, cenotes are located on land, and the “blue holes” are underwater and difficult to access.
Variety of animals
According to scientists, living beings unknown to science can live in these gaps. Indeed, many fish may well live in conditions with high pressure and lack of sunlight. If you don’t believe me, read my article about the most terrible fish on our planet – perhaps such monsters live in mysterious holes. And if we give free rein to fantasy, we can assume that the mysterious “holes” are inhabited by creatures that are currently considered fabulous.
And that, the ancient inhabitants of China were sure that a real dragon lived in the blue hole near the Paracel Islands. According to legend, he is the lord of the underwater kingdom and once gave a monkey endowed with superpowers with a magic wand. According to scientists, the so-called “Dragon Hole” is about 300 meters deep. But no fairy-tale creatures were found in it – about 20 species of living organisms live in the upper part, and there is no one at a depth of more than 100 meters. And all because there scientists did not find oxygen at all.
Exploration of the deep sea
The depression near the Paracel Islands is already fairly well studied, but there are still plenty of similar objects on our planet. Take, for example, a hole called the Green Banana located on the coast of the US state of Florida. Its depth is estimated at 130 meters and it is clearly not worth diving there without special equipment. In this regard, a group of several scientific organizations in the United States decided to conduct an expedition with the participation of professional scuba divers. They will try to figure out what living organisms live in these waters, as well as measure the amount of nutrients it contains. According to the scientific publication Science Alert, the mission will be carried out in August 2020.
If all goes well, next year the researchers want to dive into the depths of the Amberjack pit, which is also located off the coast of Florida. It is slightly smaller than the aforementioned “Green Banana” – its depth is estimated at about 72 meters. These depressions could be full of all kinds of animals, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is the main sponsor of the study. For example, they can be home to shellfish, sea turtles, and even sharks.
And the deepest place on Earth is still the Mariana Trench with a depth of 10,028 meters. Recently, substances poisonous to humans were discovered in its depths.