A Hole In The Earth
Divers have long known about the huge marine sinkhole — aka the Great Blue Hole — that lies close to Lighthouse Reef, an atoll 70km from Belize’s sun-kissed shores.
It wasn’t until recent times, however, that the secrets that lie at the hole’s mysterious bottom were discovered. Heading deep down, more than 120 metres beneath the shimmering ocean surface, curious divers found a dark place indeed.
Higher up, life abounds — with sharks, turtles and colourful corals amongst the spectacular sights to be seen. Down below, however, it is a different matter. Upon reaching 90 metres, divers discovered a thick layer of toxic hydrogen sulfide — described as a vast ‘floating blanket’ — that spanned the hole in its entirety.
Beneath this, all life vanished, with no oxygen and nothing to see other than long-dead crabs and a so-called ‘conch graveyard’. The most interesting find? The divers discovered small stalactites — suggesting that this was once a huge dry cave, most likely formed during the last Ice Age, some 14,000 years ago.