MNN Galleries

9 wondrous water caves

By: Catie Leary on March 14, 2011, 12:20 p.m.
Great Blue Hole

Photo: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

5 of 11

Great Blue Hole

Nestled in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll of Belize is the Great Blue Hole, a large submarine vertical cave that measures 984 feet in diameter and 407 feet deep. With its beautiful, clear water and the variety of wild marine life residing in its depths, the enormous blue hole is a popular scuba diving destination.

Today's blue holes, which are found all across the world, were formed from erosion during previous ice ages when the Earth's sea level was significantly lower than it is now.

Although the Great Blue Hole is most definitely great, it is not the deepest. That title is held by Dean's Blue Hole, located in the Bahamas, with a depth of 663 feet. For a demonstration on the magnitude of its size, check out Guillaume Nery, world champion freediver, as he does a freefall dive inside the hole in this video clip shot by fellow freediving champion, Julie Gautier.