The Great Blue Hole is more or less an underwater sinkhole that researchers have long wanted to know more about; that said, expedition teams geared up and moved forward with a full-scale expedition in 2018, diving deep below the surface to study its contents and map out the interior.
In the shallower parts of the Great Blue Hole, the researchers found what they’d expect, including fish, reefs, and other forms of life. Digging deeper, they happened upon a layer of toxic hydrogen sulfide, after which there were naturally no signs of life.
In the lifeless regions of the Great Blue Hole, the researchers discovered stalagmites that tell a story about an ancient underwater cave that must’ve caved in to create the Great Blue Hole we see today. The researchers also happened upon two sets of human remains – at least three people are known to have vanished in the region – and perhaps unsurprisingly, the researchers also found remnants of trash, including but not limited to a plastic bottle and a GoPro camera.
There are other sites on Earth just like the Great Blue Hole, and scientists think these regions may have formed from similar circumstances. Upon finding what they did, it’s likely that follow-up explorations will ensue, perhaps in the same neighborhood and in similar places just like it.