Australia’s Great Barrier Reef already offers plenty of wonder, but dang, this blue hole is pretty cool.
It was apparently found by marine biologist Johnny Gaskell, who said he spotted the blue hole on Google Maps. He went to check it out with a team, despite it being far offshore, “further than our normal Reef trips.”
“What we found inside was hard to believe, considering five months ago a Category 4 cyclone went straight over the top of it,” Gaskell said in a statement via email.
Anyway, they managed to capture the inside of the hidden lagoon, and it looks it was like a fun adventure:
Gaskell said he and his team believe they’re the first to dive this blue hole, which they won’t reveal the location of publicly, preferring to keep it a secret. The lagoon walls act as a source of protection to the coral.
“At around 15 to 20 metres (16 to 21 yards) deep, there were huge Birdsnest Corals (Seriatopora) and super elongated Staghorn Corals (Acropora), both of which were among the biggest and most delicate colonies I’ve ever seen,” Gaskell said.
“It’s not as deep as the famous Great Blue Hole in Belize but it is a really unique spot.”
Since the discovery, Gaskell has located two other blue holes, roughly 200 kilometres (124 mi) offshore, and is working out logistics to travel there. There are also blue holes in the Cockatoo and Molar Reefs.
It’s certainly a bright bit of news from the reef, which is still under serious threat from coral bleaching.