Blue Hole Spotted in the Great Barrier Reef

Blue+Hole+Spotted+in+the+Great+Barrier+Reef

Photo Courtesy of discover.com

Google Maps has recently uncovered a blue hole in September of 2017 in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Marine Biologist Johnny Gaskell was pursuing an online satellite imagery of a stretch of reef, when he uncovered the blue hole, according to mnn.com.

A blue hole is a an underwater sinkhole and is much deeper than the surrounding ocean.  It is formed by the erosion of carbonate rocks, and appears as a dark blue circle in the ocean. This usually happens after erosion starts in the last Ice Age, when the the sea level is lower, IFL Science stated.

According to mnn.com, Gaskell dove into the newly discovered hole, and he was the very first one. Gaskell hasn’t uncovered the exact location of his discovery, so as of now, its location remains a secret, Huffpost reported.

When Gaskell dove into the hole, he found birdsnest and staghorn corals. Both of these are one of the most common corals. The walls of the hole protect the coral, and these walls have been protecting the coral for decades, IFL Science stated.

The largest blue hole known is about 124 meters deep, and is the the Great Blue Hole located in Belize City, Belize. Gaskell said that he has found two other blue holes, and will try to visit them soon.  They sit about 120 miles off the shore of Belize, according to the Daily Star.

“What we found was hard to believe..” Johnny Gaskell said.