One of the world’s great marine mysteries was finally solved when a team of explorers became the first to dive to the bottom of the Belize Blue Hole. Easily recognizable from space, the Belize Blue Hole, sometimes known as the Great Blue Hole, is one of the most iconic dive spots in the country.
The Belize Blue Hole has fascinated explorers, divers, and travelers for centuries. To discover what lies beneath, entrepreneur and British Virgin Islands resident Richard Branson, Fabien Cousteau, and a team of ocean scientists took part in the first ever deep dive to the bottom.
Branson shared the experience on a blog post:
“The ocean is so critical to all of us, and we want to do all we can to protect it. Upon arriving in Belize, we met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and had a really good discussion.
We spoke about protecting 10 percent of Belize waters – a wonderful first step towards 30 percent. We also urged Belize to ban gill nets, which are known as the Wall of Death and do so much damage to marine ecosystems.
The Prime Minister spoke of how important the ocean is to Belize’s people, its economy and its future. Excitingly, he said he was supportive of both measures… We also had the honor of meeting his delightful wife, who assured us she is the biggest advocate for ocean conservation and would continue encouraging her husband!”
“The Blue Hole is made of a complex system of caves that once formed on dry land. It is proof of how oceans can rise quickly and catastrophically.
Sea levels were once hundreds of feet lower. Ten thousand years ago the sea level rose by about 300 feet when a lot of ice melted around the world.
At 300 feet down you could see the change in the rock where it used to be land and turned into sea. It was one of the starkest reminders of the danger of climate change I’ve ever seen.
We then tried to go through a thick Hydrogen Sulphide layer, which had formed over centuries. It was extremely eerie. We didn’t expect to see any creatures below.
But when we got to the bottom we could see crabs, conches and other creatures that had fallen into the hole, arrived on the bottom and then ran out of oxygen and di ed.”
Branson further noted:
“As for the mythical monsters of the deep? Well, the real monsters facing the ocean are climate change – and plastic. Sadly, we saw plastic bottles at the bottom of the hole, which is a real scourge of the ocean.
We’ve all got to get rid of single-use plastic. Virgin Voyages, which kindly sponsored the expedition, is leading the charge. Our team all feel passionately about the environment. With every item we buy, every piece of food we serve, the environmental impact is paramount. There will be no single-use plastic on-board.
My grandchildren will be in their thirties by 2050. I don’t want them to grow up in a world without corals, without the wonders of the ocean. We need governments to act now to protect at least 30 percent of the ocean by 2030 and reduce CO2 emissions as quickly as possible with a goal of zero net emissions by 2050.”
The Great Blue Hole is almost perfectly circular in shape, measuring 300 meters (984 feet) across and 125 meters (410 feet) deep. It is located approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) offshore of Belize City.
British diver and author Ned Middleton created the actual name of “The Great Blue Hole” after having lived in Belize for six 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, although lesser in size, structures.
The waters of the Great Blue Hole of Belize are home to several types of reef sharks as well as giant groupers, but the main attraction for divers is exploring the gothic expanses of the collapsed cave, navigating between enormous stalactites and stalagmites that reveal the Great Blue Hole’s origin.
Watch the video here:
— Discovery (@Discovery) December 2, 2018
Over 700 Disney-Style Castle Homes Abandoned in Turkish ‘Ghost Town’
So far, Burj Al Babas remains “unoccupied, unfinished and unopened.”
When you hear about a place with more than 700 Disney-style 'castle' homes, it's easy to think that it's a perfect destination for a family vacation. It should be fun to stay in the area and take pictures for Instagram, right? Or even better, would you grab the chance to buy one of the properties so you can stay there for good with your loved ones?
Unfortunately, Burj Al Babas is the farthest thing from an ideal family spot. In fact, all its beautiful Gothic-inspired structures have been abandoned for years now and so it has more of a 'ghost town' vibe than a theme park atmosphere.
The Whale Shark Crisis In Oslob, Philippines
While the tourists are taking their Instagram-worthy snaps, the whales are suffering the consequences.
Big fish are big business in Oslob, Philippines. Aside from its traditional offers of sun, sea, and sand, the fourth class municipality in the province of Cebu has garnered a reputation for being a hub of whale shark tourism.
Its new slogan even says “Guaranteed whale shark sighting.” While that sounded like an ambitious claim, no one was ever disappointed as there are always whale sharks to see. With that said, it seems like a win-win situation for the tourists and the local community. But what about the whale sharks?
While the tourists are taking their Instagram-worthy snaps, the whales are suffering the consequences....
Here’s What Santa Claus Looks Like In Different Countries
#9 is a truly unique Yuletide tradition!
Most children believe in a big jolly man in a bright red suit and white beard carrying a sack full of toys during Christmas. However, Santa Claus doesn't look the same in other countries around the world. In some traditions, the generous being could be clad in green and sometimes isn't even a man at all.
The modern Saint Nicholas with his reindeers, chimney-climbing abilities, and trademark "Ho ho ho" became popular in the 19th century. While this is the jolly old Saint Nick we know, he has different faces, costumes, and personalities around the world. Here are a few of the different kinds of Santa Claus in other countries.
1. Père Noël or Papa Noël (France)