Research groups are about to explore a 450-foot blue hole off the coast of Florida.
The U.S. Geological Society, Florida Atlantic University, Mote Marine Laboratory, and Georgia Institute of Technology have teamed up with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the project, according to a report published Wednesday by Popular Mechanics.
Mysterious 450-foot ‘blue hole’ off Florida has researchers looking for signs of life https://t.co/8cc0rMkRgH
— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) July 20, 2020
“Little is known about blue holes due to their lack of accessibility and unknown distribution and abundance,” the NOAA said. “The opening of a blue hole can be several hundred feet underwater, and for many holes, the opening is too small for an automated submersible. In fact, the first reports of blue holes did not come from scientists or researchers, but actually came from fishermen and recreational divers.”
Blue holes are essentially underwater sinkholes and it is unclear what is inside of them, the NOAA said. The expedition into the blue hole known as the Green Banana will last a year and begin in August. (RELATED: 5 Men Trapped Inside Virginia Cave)
The researchers built a “benthic lander” to explore a nearby blue hole called Amberjack Hole in 2019. The divers on this project will use the lander to run tests inside of the Green Banana.
“Water samples collected by divers and the lander yielded microbes whose DNA was extracted, processed to isolate specific marker genes, and analyzed,” the NOAA reported. “Scientists found that the microbes in the hole are layered, with different genetic varieties at different relative abundances among the top, middle and bottom layers of water.”
The pictures of this blue hole are beautiful and pictures of blue holes in general are crazy amazing. I just can’t imagine going into one of these things as a diver. Nobody really knows what is inside of them, but that’s kind of the coolest part about them.
Maybe they’ll find a new species of fish or something cool.