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Scientists map record-breaking sinkhole off Belize coast

Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2024. 3:37 am CST.

By Horace Palacio: Scientists have discovered the world’s deepest known blue hole, a sinkhole located off the coast of Mexico and Belize and extending an astonishing 1,380 feet below sea level. The underwater sinkhole named Taam Ja’ Blue Hole (TJBH) was previously considered the second-deepest, however, new research suggests its depth may far exceed earlier estimates.

This extraordinary feature is located merely two miles offshore, far more accessible than the deepest known point on Earth, Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Researchers also believe the TJBH is linked to a vast underwater cave system, potentially harboring undiscovered marine life.

This discovery underscores the vast mysteries still concealed within Earth’s oceans. Only a tiny fraction of the planet’s underwater world has been explored.

Blue holes form through the erosion of limestone during previous ice ages. A Mexican research team conducted a scuba expedition mapping TJBH’s environmental conditions, ultimately concluding that the bottom remains unmapped.

The team intends to return to TJBH to determine its true depth and uncover its suspected network of underwater caves, offering a thrilling opportunity for scientific discovery in the waters of Mexico and Belize.

 

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