Outside of Belize, a country in South America, is almost perfectly circular hole with a diameter of 0.4 km. The water depth in this hole -145 m, which gives it a deep blue color. Tourists from all over the world are immersed in the great blue hole of Belize, to admire the amazing species of fish in its clear waters. It is believed that this magnificent geological object was formed billions of years ago, when the water rose above the caves.
Here are ten things you probably didn’t know about the great blue hole of Belize.
- The Hole is a tremendous underwater sinkhole that is located off the coast of Belize and lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef.
- The actual name of “The Great Blue Hole” was created by British diver and author Ned Middleton after having lived in Belize for 6 months. He was so impressed with this natural feature that he reasoned in his book “Ten Years Underwater” that if Australia could have ‘The Great Barrier Reef’ then Belize could equally have ‘The Great Blue Hole’ thus setting this feature apart from similar, albeit lesser in size, structures.
- The hole is circular in shape and has over 300 meters across and 125 meters deep. It is the world’s largest natural formation of its kind and is part of the Belize Barrier Reef System.
- Giant stalactites, dripstone sheets, and columns can be found inside the blue hole. Scientists believe that these structures were formed in a dry cavern above sea level during glacial periods.
- Analysis of stalactites found in Blue Hole shows that formation took place 153,000; 66,000; 60,000; and 15,000 years ago.
- The French Explorer Jacques Cousteau revealed the secrets of the Blue Hole to millions of viewers in a television series called “The Undersea World of Jaques-Cousteau”.
- The Blue Hole Monument is one of the seven wonders of Belize’s World Heritage site.
- In April of 2012, Bill Gates, the 2nd richest man in the world visited the Great Blue Hole with his family.
- Day trips to the Great Blue Hole are full-day trips and are offered from the coastal tourist communities in Belize. The tour usually includes one dive in the Blue Hole and a dive on Half Moon Wall.
- The Discovery Channel ranked the Blue Hole as number one on its list of “The 10 Most Amazing Places on Earth”.