One of the world’s most famous diving zones is the Great Blue Hole of Belize. Located a few kilometres away from the city of Belize, the Blue Hole is a swallow hole that was caused by the collapse of a cavern formed during the glacial ages tens of thousands of years ago.
The Hole forms a perfect circle in the midst of a coral reef, known as the Lighthouse Reef and also a section of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System.
The uniqueness of the Belize Hole came to light first when the world renowned explorer of that time Jacques Yves-Cousteau made a pioneering discovery about its in-depth coffers with the help of his vessel – The Calypso – in the early 1970s.
According to the studies undertaken by the explorer and his crew, it was found out that the Blue Hole in Belize was a limestone cavern of the glacial era formed due to the shallowness of the water.
On account of the increasing water levels and the consequent rise in the oceanic level, the roof of the cavern was brought down while the inner portion remained intact, albeit submerged under the deluge of the water.
Underneath the surface of the Belize Blue Hole, the explorers and researchers found evidences of the cavern interior filled with stalactites. These stalactites acted as veritable proof for the explorers to conclude that the Hole was indeed a swallow hole.
Consequent Developments & Current Scenario
The Blue Hole in Belize is unlike any other swallow hole in the world and is regarded to be the world’s biggest such marvel. Mr. Cousteau accorded the swallow hole the honour of being one of the world’s top 10 zones for scuba diving enthusiasts.
The Hole has got a great fan following in the world and the Belize locals have a keen desire to have the Hole anointed with the title of being one of the world’ seven wonders.
- The Blue Hole has a depth of more than 400 feet with a diameter spanning nearly 1000 feet
- The reef surrounding the Hole is home to many exotic fishes like the nursetip shark, reef shark native to the Caribbean and various other marine creatures. The water colour of the swallow hole is deep blue in contrast with the aquamarine colour of the water neighbouring it
- On account of the intense depth of the Hole, only experienced divers are advised to enter it. This is because only experienced divers can stabilise their body while deep diving and bringing themselves upwards
- The moderate temperatures of the country allow potential divers to penetrate the depths of the Belize Hole all year round. Likewise, the complete absence of water currents and acute temperature changes in the swallow hole allows divers to try and make a foray all year round
The Great Blue Hole of Belize is truly a natural marvel. Its existence and influence in contemporary lifestyle equally, is quite impressive making it a worthy topic to be discussed.