World's second deepest 'Blue Hole' discovered in Mexico; might provide window to Earth's history

World's second deepest 'Blue Hole' discovered in Mexico; might provide window to Earth's history

Blue holes may offer a snapshot of what life was like thousands of years ago and also tells us about life on other planets.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, April 25, 2023, 02:16 PM IST
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Picture for representation | Twitter

World's second-deepest blue hole has been discovered off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The giant underwater cavern, which is about 900 feet deep and has an area of 147,000 square feet, is located in Chetumal Bay, according to LiveScience.

Dubbed 'Taam ja,' which means 'deep water' in Maya, these blue holes have little oxygen, and sunlight only shines on the surface. Even with these conditions, these gigantic voids are teeming with life that has adapted to the low-oxygen environment.

According to the study, it is the second deepest known blue hole in the world, after the 'Dragon Hole' in the South China Sea, which is believed to extend down some 980 feet.

Although the massive sapphire sinkhole was originally discovered in 2021, it was only documented recently in the scientific journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

What are blue holes?

Blue holes are home to ancient limestone caves carved into the ocean floor. According to the Discovery website, these less well-known inland blue holes are dark in colour and have no light because of an accumulation of dead germs from rotting leaves and trees. From the outside, they just look like bogs, but what lies beneath is incredible. The walls of the indigo crater shield the water from tidal action.

"They are largely poorly understood," Christopher G. Smith, a coastal geologist at the US Geological Survey (USGS) who has studied other submarine sinkholes but was not involved in the latest research, told Live Science.

Blue holes may offer a snapshot of what life was like thousands of years ago, and they may also tell us more about life on other planets, according to a LiveScience report.

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