Blue holes in the sea

Black holes are more popular. But the blue holes in the sea are not much less mysterious. What are you? There are cracks in the sea floor, like tunnels, that go deeper towards the bottom. Because of their small size, they are not always easy to explore. And the truth is that science isn’t very clear about what’s there.

That is why the “Green Banana” expedition was born. It is organized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He will try to find some answers by traveling to the Florida Gulf Coast. One of these formations is identified there.

Blue holes in the sea are usually darker in color than their surroundings.
Blue holes in the sea are usually darker in color than their surroundings.

Scientists have no idea how many blue holes exist or where they are most likely to be found. They are not easy to explore because they are not always gigantic. “The opening of a blue hole can be several hundred meters under water. The opening for a diving robot is too small for many holes. The first reports of blue holes do not come from scientists or researchers, but from fishermen and scuba divers,” said NOAA in one Explanation.

The expedition that will last a year. It will start in August and explore the deep blue hole, known in Florida as the “Green Banana”. It is about 50 meters below sea level. Scientists estimate a dark depth of about 130 meters. Little else is known about this mysterious area. Adventure-minded researchers include the Mote Marine Laboratory, Florida Atlantic University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the United States Geological Society.

In 2019, a blue hole was explored about 50 kilometers from the city of Sarasota (also in Cape Florida). It became known as the “Amberjack Hole”. This hole, about 35 meters below sea level and 100 meters deep, was an “oasis on a sterile sea floor”. There they could find two intact (albeit dead) sawtooth fish. Also an endangered species and dozens of sharks. Including a three meter long one that was collected for later studies, NOAA explains.

This is a view from the Amberjack Blue Hole on the Florida coast.
This is a view from the Amberjack Blue Hole on the Florida coast.
Secret connection

In addition, samples obtained from the amberjack hole have shown large amounts of inorganic carbon dissolved in water. According to the researchers, it contributes to the carbon cycle, possibly as a food source for microbial populations. Evidence of nutrient flow from the depths has also been found. This implies that some food sources could eventually leak out of the blue hole. Even if other creatures, like the naked sawfish, slowly sink to the bottom.

The dives last year also isolated groundwater signals and found radio and radon isotopes. There could be an underwater link connecting the Florida Aquifer to the Gulf of Mexico. This is one of the secrets that the expedition wants to confirm. “Blue holes in the sea are different biological communities full of marine life. There are corals, sponges, mollusks, sea turtles, and sharks, “the organization explains.” The chemistry of the holes in the water is unique and appears to interact with the groundwater. Scientists hope to know whether these submerged sinks are connected to Florida’s groundwater. “

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