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Catch the exploration of the worlds largest sinkhole

Great_Blue_Hole

Founder of the Virgin Group, business magnate Sir Richard Branson is taking in the largest sinkhole in the world with Fabien Cousteau.

At first glance, the sinkhole can be seen just as an ink stain in the middle of the sea, but this sinkhole is large enough to fit in two Boeing 747’s and still have room to spare. Located off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean Sea, famous marine explorer Jacques Cousteau named it ‘The Great Blue Hole’ back in the 70’s and has attracted divers from far and wide ever since.

The very first mission of its kind, Cousteau’s grandson, Fabien Cousteau, and Sir Richard Branson will be diving into the depths of the Great Blue hole in a submarine. The expedition will also be streamed live globally on the Discovery Channel.

The depth of the marine sinkhole is reportedly to be around 410 feet. With scuba divers only being able to descend to a maximum 130 feet, what remains at the bottom of the Great Blue Hole will be a first look of a vast uncharted territory.

Branson and Cousteau will be partnering with Aquatica Submarines’ chief pilot, Erika Bergman, and will be making numerous expeditions into the sinkhole in a remote-piloted Stingray 500 submarine.

 The several expeditions won’t just be for sightseeing, collection of data and mapping out the crevices of the sinkhole will be done all throughout. Back in 1997, the Great Blue Hole was measured by scientists with the use of sonar technology, this new expedition will be the first since then and will be the most thorough.

 With this new expedition, the team hopes to gather data on marine features such as the bacterial activity, water quality and as well as a detailed image of the hole’s internal structures. With Jacques Cousteau’s findings of the Great Blue Hole being a karst limestone formation, getting to see a complete make up of the sinkhole could give more insight on environmental forces that has brushed the Earth.

With his involvement in this project, Sir Richard Branson hopes to generate more awareness on ocean conservation and has a goal of conserving at least 30 percent of the ocean by 2030. The expedition will be streamed live on Discovery Channel on December 2, 9-11pm.

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