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Deep Dark Secrets

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posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 07:24 PM
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Hey ATS, I found this awesome article about the blue holes of the Bahamas. I just thought I would share, the photos are really cool along with the location itself. The photos were taken by Wes C. Skiles.
ngm.nationalgeographic.com...



The blue holes of the Bahamas yield a scientific trove that may even shed light on life beyond Earth. If only they weren’t so dangerous to explore.






Following the guideline her life depends on, a diver threads the needle through a stalagmite forest in Dan's Cave on Abaco Island. A single, misplaced fin kick can shatter mineral formations tens of thousands of years old.






Bacteria color the water at a depth of 30 to 36 feet in Sawmill Sink on Abaco. Here and in a colorless layer below, poisonous hydrogen sulfide gas is present. Divers move through it with all deliberate speed.






Veteran cave diver Brian Kakuk lifts a more than 3,000-year-old Cuban crocodile skull—an animal no longer found in the Bahamas—from sediment in Sawmill Sink. Nearly oxygen free, blue holes preserve bones intact.






n Stargate, a blue hole on Andros Island, divers illuminate North Passage.






"All of a sudden"
, it's got you," says photographer Wes Skiles of the "insanely dangerous" vortex in Chimney Blue Hole off Grand Bahama. Like a giant bathtub drain, it sucks down millions of gallons when the tide comes in. "It's like going over a waterfall—there's no escape." Keeping his distance, a diver sets up equipment to measure the whirlpool's flow rate.






From a protected cove on Long Island, Dean's Blue Hole—Earth's deepest known underwater cave—plunges more than 600 feet into darkness.






Resting casually on a ledge 80 feet down, free diver William Trubridge admires the yawning entrance of Dean's Blue Hole on Long Island. Trubridge holds the world record for a breath-holding free dive—a three-minute, 56-second odyssey in this Bahamian cave, to a depth of 311 feet.






In Sawmill Sink, expedition leader and anthropologist Kenny Broad descends through the bacterial layer on an exploratory dive.






Kenny Broad sinks into the toxic hydrogen sulfide layer in Sawmill Sink on Abaco Island. By studying bacteria that flourish in the oxygen-free water, scientists hope, among other things, to learn how simple life-forms can lead to more complex ones.






In lightless blue holes, animals like this inch-long Agostocaris cave shrimp don't need surface pigmentation. Only part of the shrimp's digestive system has color.






The remipede is a "living fossil" nearly unchanged for 300 million years. It kills its prey, primarily other crustaceans such as cave shrimps, with venom-injecting fangs.






In Garbage Hole on Grand Bahama, Kenny Broad squirms through a narrow section, spooling out a guideline for a safe return to the surface. Although tidal currents sweep litter into this offshore cave's deepest reaches, its walls teem with life, including bright red bryozoans; smooth, gray sponges; and bushy, stinging hydroids that can raise welts on exposed skin. For many cave divers, entering a previously unexplored passage—as Broad is doing here—is the holy grail.






The Cascade Room, some 80 feet beneath the surface, leads divers deeper into Dan's Cave on Abaco Island. Nearly seven miles of the cave have been explored since the mid-1990s.






Through a halo of dive lights, Kenny Broad ascends a deep shaft in Dan's Cave on Abaco. The site is one of the world's most spectacular inland underwater caves, thanks to its abundant mineral formations, from columns and curtains to calcite "soda straws" that can break at the touch of a fingertip.






Archaeologist Michael Pateman lifts a centuries-old Lucayan Indian skull from a gridded site 110 feet down in Sanctuary Blue Hole on Andros Island.






Brian Kakuk has an arsenal of offbeat tools for gathering samples. An inflatable lift bag brings a stalagmite to the surface to be studied for evidence of abrupt climate changes in the past.






Brian Kakuk uses a turkey baster to collect red dust blown from the Sahara in ancient times.






Amid a hanging forest of stalactites in Ralph's Cave on Abaco, Brian Kakuk shines his dive light on a translucent stalagmite. During periods of lower sea level, when caves were dry, stalagmites and stalactites grew and eventually joined to form columns.






His air bubbles forced down by the current in a blue hole on Abaco, Kenny Broad fights to the surface, a stalagmite under his arm. Divers must bring extra breathing gas when they'll have to struggle against a siphoning tide.




[edit on 31-7-2010 by TV_Nation]




posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 07:27 PM
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What is a sectrets?

jus wundrun



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 07:27 PM
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Tires and other debris have piled up in Garbage Hole on Grand Bahama. "You're swimming through people's drinking water and junk piles at the same time," Kenny Broad says. "It really drives home why we need to protect these places."






A diver's-eye view just below the surface reveals the jungled entrance of Ben's Cave in Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahama. Established in 1970, the park protects one of the longest inland underwater cave systems on Earth.






Kenny Broad and Brian Kakuk surface at dusk after multiple dives in Sawmill Sink, where they collected bacteria samples and fossils. "It's an alien world down there," says Broad, "that keeps pushing us beyond our dreams."






Fins blurred by the halocline—a thin layer where waters with different salinities meet—a diver negotiates the ornately decorated Cascade Room in Dan's Cave.


Hope you liked the pics and info



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 07:32 PM
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Originally posted by Lil Drummerboy
What is a sectrets?

jus wundrun


Fixed, thanks for pointing that out



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 07:39 PM
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Wow very cool info and images! So many places still unexplored, probably a good thing as people have not been all that kind to the places they have tread on.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 07:41 PM
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Originally posted by crazydaisy
Wow very cool info and images! So many places still unexplored, probably a good thing as people have not been all that kind to the places they have tread on.


So true... The sad thing is that our garbage made it there before we did



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 07:54 PM
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reply to post by TV_Nation
 
Yeah those are some cool pics,.
make me wanna dive.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:09 PM
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reply to post by TV_Nation
 


Super cool pictures.


I saw these holes referred to on a tv show, but they didn't give any real information on them. Thanks for the shots and info.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:11 PM
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reply to post by TV_Nation
 


A very interesting read and awesome pics !!!

Thank you for posting them. Once again, it shows how precious our planet is.

S&F.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:37 PM
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Very nice pictures, S&F for effort. It would be exciting to see these places in person.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 08:47 PM
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It's a shame that our species contributes to nature in a negative way with waste and junk. As for the discovery of this and various other species down there...well, that's simply amazing.

Who knows what creatures we'll come across some day....or what creatures we'll startle after a long rest



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 09:51 PM
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Very cool pics and info.. Makes you wonder what else remains hidden on this planet.

Thanks!



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 10:00 PM
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S & F.

The coolest divers photos Ive ever seen thanks for postin them and sharing. The Vortex looked awesome!



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 10:01 PM
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reply to post by TV_Nation
 


WOW S&F.
Not much more to say about these pictures other than WOW.
Just a magical view.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 10:10 PM
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This is simply sublime! hands down one of the finest threads ever on nature. Great work tv_nation. I can't give enough stars and flags.

Incredible beauty right below our feet. I'm sure there's a lesson in that somewhere.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 11:00 PM
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What a cool thread. Awesome !

One question tho. How far below the surface did they find the stalactites and stalagmites that fused together ?



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 11:15 PM
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Very nice find!

I want to handle the trash issue in a positive way.

Now we humans can get to work at cleaning up the trash!

Star and Flag for a well done OP.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 11:26 PM
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The coolest divers photos Ive ever seen thanks for postin them and sharing. The Vortex looked awesome!


Thanks for the reply, the vortex was my favorite photo, it is just awe inspiring how wondrous our planter truly is!




One question tho. How far below the surface did they find the stalactites and stalagmites that fused together ?


That is a good question but I could not pin down the depth of the stalagmites and stalactites that were fused by the info given. What I do know is that some of these holes reach a depth of over 600 feet and they span over many miles.

Here is a snippet of an article also provided by national geographic.



Blue holes can run extremely deep underground, with one Bahamian blue hole exceeding 600 feet (180 meters) below sea level, and contain a series of mazelike passageways going miles in many directions. These cave systems can transition from giant rooms to tiny holes that divers must remove all of their gear in order to squeeze through. To add to the challenge, currents reverse in the ocean caves, making timing of dives critical. All in all, a difficult place to explore and even more challenging to achieve the range of scientific and filming goals that the team has on their agenda.


Here is a link that can give you some additional info. These sites still hold many secrets and I hope we can see their future discoveries.
www.nationalgeographic.com...

[edit on 30-7-2010 by TV_Nation]



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 11:46 PM
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reply to post by TV_Nation
 


Thanks. [up]

Remarkable... The minerals have to be completely emerged from the water to grow.
I think it is save to say that those caves never were above sea level entirely.

Maybe the the cave itself was not always flooded. Do to a giant air bubble or something.


Anyway...

I never new the blue sink holes were a gateway to so much beauty.


Edit to add...
 


That shrimp should be harvested. You can see exactly the part you shouldn't eat.


[edit on 7/30/2010 by Sinter Klaas]



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 12:02 AM
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thank you for the great pics. I could live a thousand years and still not see all the wonders of this little rock we live on.



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