While I am all in favor of the pursuit of knowledge, some subjects should perhaps be left untouched. Ancient Egyptian tombs, black holes, and enigmatic oceanic caverns are among them.
Consider the potential horrors that might be uncovered in such explorations. Are the potential lessons we may learn worth the risks involved? In most cases, my answer would be a resounding “no.” Nevertheless, an expedition to Belize’s Great Blue Hole has proven that disturbing discoveries can sometimes be valuable.
Situated approximately 60 miles off the coast of Belize, the Great Blue Hole descends more than 400 feet into the ocean. For a long time, divers were unable to venture too deeply into its depths due to a lack of suitable equipment. However, advancements in technology and the interest of billionaire Richard Branson changed that.
Branson led an expedition to the hole, where diver Fabien Cousteau captured stunning photos and videos of the mysteries hidden below the surface. Unfortunately, what they found at the bottom of this captivating oceanic formation reflects some of humanity’s less admirable traits – garbage. The team discovered a two-liter plastic bottle and a lost GoPro containing holiday pictures.
Even more disheartening were the two bodies found in the hole – divers who had gone missing in this vast cavern. The team decided to leave the bodies where they were, considering the hole to be a fitting final resting place. However, they did inform the Belize government about the discovery.
But the shocking revelations did not end there. When the crew descended in a submersible vehicle, they encountered a network of caves adorned with hanging stalactites. The presence of stalactites beneath the water’s surface challenged scientists’ beliefs, indicating that these caves were once above sea level.
Take a look:
Branson emphasized the disturbing implications of this find for the planet in a post on Virgin.com. He stated that the Great Blue Hole’s complex system of caves was evidence of how rapidly and catastrophically oceans can rise. Sea levels were significantly lower in the past, and about 10,000 years ago, the melting of ice worldwide led to a rise of approximately 300 feet in sea levels. This drastic shift altered land into sea.
For Branson, the scene served as one of the most poignant reminders of the peril posed by climate change. The discovery of ancient dry land turned into submerged caves beneath the ocean’s surface underscores the urgent need to address the pressing issues of our changing environment.