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Bahamas Caves--Deep Dark Secrets (amazing pics)

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posted on May, 12 2011 @ 09:19 AM

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.

We sink into Stargate, sweeping the void with our dive lights. Fifty feet from the surface looms a pale haze, less smoky than fibrous, like a silvery net of faint, swirling cobwebs hovering motion­less in the darkness. It's a layer of hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas created by bacterial colonies and decaying organic matter. Divers entering the gas may experience itching skin, tingling, or dizziness; some smell rotten eggs as it penetrates their skin and metabolizes through their lungs.

The gas density in Stargate is relatively low, but I'm struck by a wave of nausea as we descend. I glance at my guide, Brian Kakuk—one of the world's foremost cave divers. He appears unfazed. My head begins to throb; clearly, I'm unusually sensitive to the toxin. In the epic poem Beowulf, "dim serpent shapes" in the depths guard the lake of Grendel and his mother, shielding their lair. The otherworldly mist in Stargate appears to serve a similar role—a poisonous curtain that protects the deeper reaches of the cave.

Offshore flooded caves, so-called ocean blue holes, are extensions of the sea, subject to the same heavy tides and host to many of the same species found in the surrounding waters. Inland blue holes, however, are unlike any other environment on Earth, thanks largely to their geology and water chemistry. In these flooded caves, such as Stargate on Andros Island, the reduced tidal flow results in a sharp stratification of water chemistry.

A thin lens of fresh water—supplied by rainfall—lies atop a denser layer of salt water. The freshwater lens acts as a lid, isolating the salt water from atmospheric oxygen and inhibiting bacteria from causing organic matter to decay. Bacteria in the zone just below the fresh water survive by exploiting sulfate (one of the salts in the water), generating hydrogen sulfide as a by-product. Known on land as swamp or sewer gas, hydrogen sulfide in higher doses can cause delirium and death.

Until now, only a handful of scientists have ventured into blue holes, but in the summer and fall of 2009, a multidisciplinary cave-diving and scientific team spent two months studying them on Andros, Abaco, and five other Bahamian islands. Funded by the National Geographic Society in collaboration with the National Museum of the Bahamas,


Found this awesome video:
Stargate blue Hole diving Andros Bahamas

Man, I have been on a roll with the Caves. This stuff just sets me on fire-with passion to go do this type of diving and exploring. Someday, someone is going to go down the right hole and find something truly amazing, like a UFO.

I showed my wife this thread, as well as my other two on cave/diving/exploration and I think I got here hooked on the idea of going down there and doing this.

I have to say though this would be the 2nd or 3rd on the list of places I would like to go diving at.

Anyway, if you liked this one, you'll love these two threads I was lucky enough to have done previously (trust me, you won't be disappointed & you'll know the Number 1 & 2 spots that are on the top of my list).

Record Cave Dive Leaves Mystery (or: "take a break" from OBL thread!)

Diver 'VANISHES' in Portal to Maya Underworld (awesome video & the FIND!)

posted on May, 12 2011 @ 09:36 AM
Very good, thanks for sharing.


posted on May, 12 2011 @ 09:44 AM
Amazingly beautiful. Our world holds many mysterious wonders and yet many people want to destroy its beauty...

posted on May, 12 2011 @ 09:50 AM
Awesome thread! Would'nt swimming in that!


posted on May, 12 2011 @ 10:18 AM
reply to post by Alpal

Yes, I bet it would be awesome to swin in them.

Maybe I will be lucky enough to find out next year.

Currently the wife and I are planning on going to Bermuda but I have to tell you, Bahamas just might win us over.

posted on May, 12 2011 @ 01:13 PM
Well, looking at the video and pics, I have to say, I would have loved to been in them when they were dried out.

I think this is a great find to support the theories that the land masses and sea have changed so much over time. I am wondering how long ago the Bahamas have been an island-or at least in the form we know it today.

I hope they do some type of excavation/digging in them. Just to see/make sure of things under the dirt.


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