China: Dragon’s Hole, the world’s deepest blue hole

Trou du Dragon en Chine, trou bleu

Researchers have identified what is undoubtedly the world’s deepest blue hole, located in the Paracels Islands in the South China Sea.

According to scientists, almost 75% of the seabed remains unexplored. After more than 12 months of searching, on July 22, 2016 to be exact, Chinese researchers were able to set a new record and claim to have found the world’s largest marine hole: it’s called the « Dragon’s Hole » (or « The Eye of China ») and is located in China.

Located in the very heart of the Paracels archipelago (southern China), this excavation is said to reach a depth of 389 meters, just a little more than the Eiffel Tower (324 meters).

This fabulous discovery surpasses the record held by the Dean blue hole, located in the Bahamas near the coast of Belize, which plunged 202 meters below water level.

A very old « architecture

The rock formation of the « Dragon’s Hole » took place over thousands of years, and researchers believe that a very large quantity of limestone eroded beneath the ground, creating a cave. The roof of the cave then collapsed, and the cavity gradually filled with water as the ice melted, giving rise to the present-day Blue Hole.

This blue hole, so named because of its rich dark-blue coloring, contrasts sharply with the surrounding waters. It is highly probable that the Dragon’s Hole was created during the last Ice Age, when sea levels were 100 metres lower than they are today. The rock was altered by the action of rainwater and hollowed out.

Trou du Dragon en Chine, trou bleu

New fish species

In addition to its surface area and extreme depth, Chinese researchers have discovered more than twenty species of fish and marine organisms, notably with the help of a robot nicknamed « VideoRay Pro 4 ».

Indeed, beyond 100 meters, the water circulates poorly and the lack of oxygen often precludes finding any trace of life. However, it would seem that a few « survivors » of this era still reside on these unexplored seabeds. Would you be prepared to travel to the South China Sea to get closer to this blue hole? The Dragon’s Hole has only just begun to yield its first treasures, so who knows what else remains to be discovered?

Trou du Dragon en Chine, trou bleu