The Belize Blue Hole (also known as the Great Blue Hole of Belize) is Belize’s most famous natural landmark.
Here are a few interesting facts you may not know about the Blue Hole:
1 – Richard Branson Is Fascinated by it
Sir Richard Branson, the maverick British entrepreneur, has been fascinated by the Blue Hole for years. In December 2018, he will be in Belize to pilot a submarine into the Blue Hole as part of a scientific mission.
2 – It Can Be Seen From Outer Space
In 2017, astronauts aboard the International Space Station took several iconic photos of the Blue Hole as they passed overhead. The Blue Hole is instantly recognizable as it is neatly contained inside the circular bounds of Lighthouse Reef.
3 – A Tale of Two Cousteaus
The Blue Hole has existed for hundreds of thousands of years, but few people outside of local fishermen in Belize knew about it until 1971 when Jacques Cousteau and his crew came to film and map the Blue Hole. After diving the Blue Hole several times, Jacques Cousteau declared it to be one of his all-time favorite dive sites in the world.
In December 2018, Jacques’s grandson Fabien Cousteau will take part in the scientific expedition to map and film the depths of the Blue Hole.
4 – Ten Years Underwater
Cousteau loved the Blue Hole, but he’s not the one who coined the name. It was legendary British diver Ned Middleton who came up with the name “Belize Blue Hole” in 1988 in his book Ten Years Underwater. Middleton dove the Blue Hole many times, fascinated by its mysteriously gothic depths.
5 – The Biggest in the World
The Belize Blue Hole is the largest sinkhole in the world. Originally a cave system on dry land, rising waters during the last great Ice Age caused the cave to become submerged. Today, the labyrinthine tunnels of the cave, replete with huge stalactites and stalagmites, is what continues to fascinate divers from around the world. On the mainland, collapsed cave systems are known as “cenotes” and were widely used by the ancient Maya. But unlike cenotes which are connected to other cave systems, the Blue Hole is a standalone natural phenomenon.
If you’re interested in diving the Belize Blue Hole or other dive sites on the reef, consider staying at the exclusive Coco Plum Belize Resort. Coco Plum is located on a privately owned island close to all the top dive sites on the reef.