Scientists to Begin Studying ‘Blue Holes’ in Ocean Floors

Blue Holes NOAA

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), about 95% of the world’s oceans and 99% of the ocean floor remain unexplored, implying we know little to nothing about the ocean. However, a few years ago, scientists discovered “blue holes” on the ocean floor. Now, they’re set on studying them.

A blue hole is intrinsically a sinkhole in the ocean floor, creating a cave-like structure. Located among others across Florida’s Gulf continental shelf, one such blue hole has been nicknamed the “Green Banana.”

Reported first by the Independent, the exploration mission for Green Banana, which is 300 feet deep, is starting this month. Scientists are looking for a lot of answers, primarily whether the water inside the hole is different than the regular saltwater found in the ocean, which is situated higher than the cavern.

It is entirely possible that these holes are products of freshwater micro-bodies in the ocean. Green Banana hosts a lot of life, including fish and aquatic plants. Scientists want to understand what creates such conditions near the hole.

The water looks different too. As opposed to the general ruggedness of the ocean water, the water surrounding the hole is much clearer, which is another mystery that remains unsolved.

To better understand this, researchers intend to drop a piece of hardware into the water. Similar to objects sent to space, a “lander” of an aquatic kind will be hoisted in the Green Banana hole. At the same time, scientists will collect samples from the water. The lander will help to try to understand the basic differences between ocean water and blue hole water.

The mission, which begins later in August, is funded by NOAA. Many scientists believe that the close proximity of blue holes to one another might hold some key to understanding them – perhaps a cave-like network of freshwater springs hiding in the innards of the ocean exists.

To get more details on the mission, visit NOAA’s official website for complete coverage.

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