Scientists to explore mysterious ‘blue hole’ off coast of Florida


A mysterious “blue hole” at the bottom of the ocean is about to be explored by scientists.

The aim is to discover what life forms can live inside this dark chasm that plummets to a depth of 425 feet below the seabed.

The blue hole in question is called the “Green Banana.”

It’s located off the coast of Florida on the continental shelf.

The exploration of the Green Banana will be part of a three-year project that’s focussed on blue holes and their biodiversity.

The NOAA-sponsored project will involve sending divers and monitoring equipment deep inside the hole.

The researchers want to examine any microbes found in the hole as well as things like nutrient levels.

A benthic lander used in blue hole research.
A benthic lander used in blue hole research.Allison Baird/Mote Marine Laboratory

They also want to assess whether the sinkhole is connected to Florida’s groundwater system.

The dive will take place in August and then another one is scheduled for next year.

A much smaller underwater sinkhole called the Amberjack Hole has already been explored by the team.

The NOAA said: “Blue holes are diverse biological communities full of marine life, including corals, sponges, mollusks, sea turtles, sharks, and more.

“The seawater chemistry in the holes is unique and appears to interact with groundwater and possibly aquifer layers.

“This link contributes to the knowledge of carbon cycling between surface and groundwater.”

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