The Great Blue Hole off the coast of Belize •

The Great Blue Hole off the coast of Belize

The Great Blue Hole off the coast of Belize. Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the Great Blue Hole, which is located off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean Sea near the center of the Lighthouse Reef atoll.

The mysterious hole and its surrounding coral reefs are among the top diving destinations in the world. 

The deeper, dark blue waters of the massive marine sinkhole stand out against the clear blue shallow waters of the reefs.

According to NASA, the Great Blue Hole likely formed during the last Ice Age when global sea levels were much lower. 

The Lighthouse Reef and the Great Blue Hole make up just a small portion of the Belize Barrier Reef system, one most pristine marine ecosystems with some of the greatest biodiversity on the planet. 

The photograph was captured by an astronaut onboard the International Space Station on March 5, 2020.The Maya Civilization spread into the area of Belize between 1500 B.C. and A.D. 300 and flourished until about 1200. European contact began in 1492 when Christopher Columbus sailed along the Gulf of Honduras. European exploration was begun by English settlers in 1638. This period was also marked by Spain and Britain both laying claim to the land until Britain defeated the Spanish in the Battle of St. George’s Caye (1798). It became a British colony in 1840, known as British Honduras, and a Crown colony in 1862. Independence was achieved from the United Kingdom on 21 September 1981.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer


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