Wonder of the Great Blue Hole Belize

Great Blue Hole Belize is caused by repeated collapses of a limestone cave system formed during the course of the last ice age.

The outer edge of the blue hole is barely a few feet underwater at high tide. The depth reaches 480 feet as the atoll lies on a geographic fault block, which has subsided into the basin through geologic time. It is quite difficult to get there.

This wonderful natural phenomenon is home to a premier diving site. It was made famous by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who declared it to be the among the top scuba diving sites on the planet. He brought his ship called Calypso and one-man submarines in 1971 to explore the hole. The depths were charted out and the stalactites hanging from walls were examined.

In a sharp contrast to rumors, Cousteau's son, Philippe, did not die here. He was killed in a helicopter accident. It is also unlikely that Cousteau used an explosive to destroy the patch reefs. However, he did remove a tiny area, which helped the Calypso reach the Blue Hole.

The journey to the Great Blue Hole Belize has been equated to a prehistoric one in terms of time and place. These formations are called blue holes due to the deep blue color caused by the amazing depth. Coral surrounds the hole, with the exception of two narrow channels. At low tide, it breaks the surface into many areas.

Pederson's cleaning shrimp abound in large numbers. They inhabit the ringed and knobby anemones. In addition, neon gobies display their cleaning prowess from the numerous coral heads. Also seen in large numbers are the angelfish, butterfly fish, and hamlets. Elkhorn coral tends to grow on the surface, while purple sea fans sweep at the water surface.

The deeper areas of the blue hole do not have the same profusion of life. This can be attributed to poor circulating water and a scarcity of light.

Local inhabitants are of the opinion that Great Blue Hole Belize should be one of Seven Wonders of the World. For years, it has been protected by the Belize Audubon Society. It was assigned world heritage status in 1997.

The Blue hole served as a dry cave for millions of years. Stalactites and stalagmites formed slowly over the course of years. With the end of the Ice Age, sea levels rose and covered the cave.

The cave ceiling collapsed due to a massive earthquake. This gave rise to the sinkhole. The Lighthouse Reef subsequently tilted by 12 degrees. Ledges and overhangs adorn the walls of this former cave. There are plenty of Pleistocene stalactites, stalagmites, and columns.