Exploring the Ancients in the Blue Holes of the Bahamas
Blue Holes are large openings to deep ocean caverns, found inland and in the ocean. They are called "blue holes" because they are distinctly darker blue, due to the distinct drop off to deeper water. This deep blue is best viewed from the air. They are being discovered and explored more and more, in many places, especially around and in the Bahamas. The one in this photo is called "Benjamin Blue Hole" near Andros island, which claims more blue holes per square mile than anywhere else in the world. These blue holes were once neglected, even used as dumping sites. But now scientists and curious divers, even free divers are exploring and finding not only beautiful places never before seen by human eyes, but some really fascinating archaeological treasures. One even held the bones of a teenage boy from 1500 years B.C.! Other finds include extinct sea turtles and newly discovered micro organisms.
The more round blue holes are generally caused by sinkholes. These are the ones that look so beautiful from the air. Others run near fault lines and are connected to cave systems. These are the ones that have such beautiful formations.
This all makes me wonder: what else might be discovered in these deep holes of the ocean? Is it safe to explore them?
Let's take a look at some of the fascinating finds of these mysterious Blue Holes.
In Deep Ocean Blue
In some ways, Blue Holes are among the last places on earth to be explored.
There is something more, though, that makes them so mystical.
They are like hidden jewels of our ancient past,
Untouched except by the ocean elements, for hundreds of thousands of years, or more.
If mermaids were real, perhaps these would be their secret lair.
Diving Stargate - Blue Hole Exploration
The Great Blue Hole
One of the biggest underwater cave systems, perhaps the biggest in the Caribbean, King Kong's Cavern is a popular dive spot off the coast of Belize. There is an ancient waterfall chute, which is a great example of what the earth looked like during the ice age...(before the cavern was part of the ocean). The "Great Blue Hole" is almost a thousand feet across!
Many of these holes were underground caves which were filled in after the great ice age melt, causing the oceans to rise. It's interesting what the ocean has done with them following thousands of years of dripping water, which created their unique cathedral-like formations of stalacktites and stalagmites.
Belize also has a popular inland blue hole, St Herman's, at Blue Hole National Park. The Park also has dry caves to explore. A great example of before and after the rising ocean.
Diving King Kong's Cavern - aka "The Great Blue Hole"
Articles and More Photos - Delving deep into the Blue Holes
- Bahamas Caves - Photo Gallery - National Geographic Magazine
Scientists dive into the deadly blue holes of the Bahamas.
- Bahamas Caves Research Foundation
Bahamas Caves Research Foundation Research and Conservation of Bahamian Blue Holes
Blue Hole, Belize
Found in Blue Holes
- New type of bacteria: is this what might be found on alien planets? By National Geographic in the blue hole abyss of the Bahamas, 2012
- The Lusca: a legendary beast with shark teeth and tentacles like an octopus. Long feared by fishermen.
- Poisonous clouds
- A "Lucayan", which is an India Ceremonial Canoe, found in Stargate Blue Hole, South Andros. also found there were 800 year old Lucayan Indian Bones. But please don't touch. Let them keep their sacred burial place.
- A complete fossilized cranium of the extinct Hispaniola Monkey: Advanced Diver Magazine Exploration Foundation, Dominican Republic
- 2,500 year old tortoise shell: Sawmill Sink blue hole
Ocean Blue Hole - Andros, Bahamas
This one has a shy sea turtle.... about halfway through. So sweet.
Have you been cave diving in the Blue Holes of the Bahamas? - Or just wish you did?
Karen Kay (author) from Jackson, MS on October 19, 2014:
Thanks so much Vellur and Snakesmum. I appreciate your stopping by and commenting.
Nithya Venkat from Dubai on October 19, 2014:
Great hub about blue holes, interesting and informative. Voted up and enjoyed reading.
Snakesmum on October 18, 2014:
These blue holes look beautiful! The only one I've ever seen was a very shallow one on a Pacific island, which I went snorkeling over, as I can't dive.
Karen Kay (author) from Jackson, MS on October 18, 2014:
I know what you mean, Leilana. I love a good mystery!
Leilani Allmon on October 18, 2014:
Thank you for writing this. I have an interest in sea caves. I think they are beautiful and mysterious. I think all caves are like that, but there is something about sea caves that I like the most. Maybe because it does feel like mysterious creatures, such as mermaids, could hide out in them.
Karen Kay (author) from Jackson, MS on October 15, 2014:
Thanks Linda. They are like a whole new world!
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 14, 2014:
This is fascinating. I've never heard of a blue hole before. Thank you for sharing the information!
Mandy Stradley from Riverton, Utah on July 28, 2012:
I sure would love to dive in the Bahamas! Beautiful!
TapIn2U on August 04, 2011:
Great lens! Taking a deep dive in the blue holes would be amazing. Sundae ;-)