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Scientists Set to Explore Mysterious Blue Hole Located 425 Ft Underwater

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Blue holes are underwater sinkholes commonly found along Florida’s Gulf coast and vary in size. However, no matter how big or small, they are known to host a diverse variety of plants and animals. Scientists are now setting out to explore a blue hole named “Green Banana” this August to continue their journey from 2019’s “Amberjack” mission.


“Little is known about blue holes due to their lack of accessibility and unknown distribution and abundance. 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 of researchers but actually came from the fishermen and recreational diver,” according to a statement in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. 

Amberjack, 2019

There is a layer of mystery surrounding blue holes due to their difficult means of accessibility. For example, Amberjack’s hole surpasses a depth exceeding 350 feet. Beyond the mystery lies potential in answering some of the upcoming missions questions like whether or not these environments harbor new species. 

 

This season’s upcoming mission will attempt to answer a list of questions that have been built upon explorations led in 2019. So far, scientists have collected 17 water samples. They have also discovered two dead smalltooth sawfish, Pristis pectinata, an endangered species at the bottom of the hole. 

 

Benthic Lander Used for Blue Hole Research “Photo by Allison Baird/Mote Marine Laboratory.”

Green Banana is measured at an approximate 425 feet deep. It is also said to have an hourglass shape which presents an added layer of challenges. However, as researchers begin to learn more about these nutrient-dense reservoirs, we may begin to learn more about groundwater connection, discover new species, and cultivate a deeper appreciation for the sweet swell of life. 

 

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