World’s deepest blue hole found in South China Sea

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A new scrutiny of a mythological blue hole in a South China Sea has found that a underwater underline is a deepest famous on Earth.

According to Xinhua News, Dragon Hole, or Longdong, is 987 feet (300.89 meters) deep, distant deeper than a prior record holder, Dean’s Blue Hole in a Bahamas. (That blue hole measures about 663 feet, or 202 m, deep.) According to Xinhua, internal fable binds that Dragon Hole is mentioned in a Ming dynasty novel “Journey to a West,” in that a abnormal gorilla impression gets a enchanting knock from an undersea dominion ruled by a dragon.

The commentary have nonetheless to be reliable or reviewed by scientists in a field, though if they reason up, a measurements brace Dragon Hole as distant deeper than Dean’s Blue Hole, pronounced Pete outpost Hengstum, a sea geologist during Texas AM University during Galveston, who conducts examine on blue holes and sinkholes via a Caribbean region. [See Photos of 8 Amazing Sinkholes]

Underwater wonders

Blue holes are water-filled sinkholes that form in carbonate stone such as limestone. Over prolonged durations of time, a carbonate stone dissolves in a subsurface to form caves or cavities, outpost Hengstum told Live Science.

“Eventually, a routine of retraction causes a cavern to strech really tighten to a Earth’s surface, and if a cavern roof collapses, a blue hole or sinkhole is formed,” he said.

Some blue holes, like Dragon Hole, open adult to a sea environment, while others are inland.

It’s something of a poser since blue holes form precisely where they do and what factors change their development. Chemical reactions during a interface of saltwater and freshwater can emanate diseased acids that eat divided during limestone and other carbonates, pronounced Lisa Park Boush, a geoscientist during a University of Connecticut who studies blue-hole sediments in a Bahamas. As a result, rising and descending sea levels can change when and where blue holes form. [In Photos: Stunning Blue Holes from Around a World]

“There is also a organisation of researchers looking into microbial processes,” Boush told Live Science. In some cases, she said, bacillus activity competence assistance to disintegrate bedrock and minister to a arrangement of blue holes.

In further to microbes, other organisms also call these jaw-droppingly beautiful holes home.

Blue-hole life

“It’s engaging to see what indeed lives in these blue holes,” pronounced Boush, who called a sourroundings of blue holes “cryptic.”

Scientists with a Sansha Ship Course Research Institute for Coral Protection in China used an underwater drudge and a abyss sensor to examine a mysterious environment of Dragon Hole, that is a obvious underline in Yongle, a coral embankment nearby a Xisha Islands in a South China Sea, according to Xinhua. They found some-more than 20 sea organisms vital in a top portions of a hole. Below about 328 feet (100 m), a seawater in a blue hole had roughly no oxygen, and so small life, a researchers told Xinhua on Jul 22.

Even so, diving in blue holes is intensely dangerous, she said.

“One of a reasons since it’s really dangerous is since of a singular oxygen,” she said. “And infrequently there are even sulfuric waters.”

Well-trained divers can make a journey, outpost Hengstum said. In other cases, researchers park a vessel right above a blue hole and send apparatus down to magnitude depth, temperature, oxygenation and other factors. Both Boush and outpost Hengstum control examine on a sediments during a bottom of blue holes. These sediments enclose information about a past sourroundings and meridian change — and sometimes fossils.

The Dragon Hole in a South China Sea substantially shaped in an sourroundings that’s identical to blue holes in a Bahamas, outpost Hengstum said. Many blue holes now flooded by seawater in a Bahamas expected originated as sinkholes during a freezing duration when sea levels were lower, though subsequently became flooded after a final ice age, when continental glaciers melted and tellurian sea levels increased, he said.

The Bahamas lay on a large height of carbonate that’s adult to 2,000 feet (610 m) thick in places, Boush said. Some of this carbonate is built adult by embankment organisms like coral, that excrete calcium carbonate as a arrange of protecting structure. But calcium carbonate comes from many places, Boush said, including calcareous algae (imagine algae with hard, calcium-carbonate skin) and even fish poop.

“Fish eat a coral reefs,” Boush said. “They munch on it — parrotfish, for example. When we go scuba diving, we hear ‘click, click, click, click, click,’ and that is a parrotfish eating tools of a reef. Well, what goes in goes out again.”

Original essay on Live Science.

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