Since the days of Columbus, the first European saw those coral islands, here found the grave of hundreds of ships. Reefs and rocks, treacherous currents and whirlpools, storms and fog are always threatened and threatening captains ventured to lay his course in these dangerous and terrible waters.
But one of the most terrible danger present here boats and small vessels, hiding under the water off the coast of the Bahamas archipelago in the huge island of Andros. It is all the more menacing, anything like that, even the most experienced sailors have not seen in any other area of the oceans.
Watch Online — Unbelievable Blue Holes (Blue Holes):
Andros Island is low and is, like its neighbors, flat limestone island with winding banks, intricately dissected bays, straits and headlands and covered with small islands and coral cays.
If you look at the sea washing Andros, through an airplane window, among the green-turquoise-shore shallow water suddenly discover in a few places are dark, almost inky circular spots. This — the celebrated Blue Houls, "blue holes" of Andros.
From the point of view of geology in these "holes" is not unusual. In the long-standing time when sea level was lower, rain and streams washed with deep tunnels in the limestone hills, which became later the islands and shoals. Now, when the sea level had risen, gaping hole mines, leading to the flooded caves are different from the crowd, as the waters of the deep sea is always darker than in small places.
But the grim glory Blue Houls arisen not because of the depth of the dips. At high tide, when the waves gush through the surrounding Andros Barrier Reef, the water around these blue spots begins to move in a circle. Over the hole deep underwater mines formed a whirlpool, is drawn into his greedy mouth all that floats on the surface: algae, wood chips, boards, barrels, fishing boats and ships' lifeboats.
Completely disappeared objects will never appear on the surface, and it is no wonder that the witnesses, who miraculously managed to escape death in the "blue holes", tell us about them freezing soul stories.
And the fact that at low tide pattern is repeated in reverse order of the Blue Houls powerful water fountains erupt, sometimes with chips and debris — does not interfere with storytellers bend the line.
Deep, deep in the blue abyss Blue Houls — say they — lives underwater terrible monster Luske. Neptune gave it the tentacles of a giant octopus and a huge shark's mouth, and the size of the monster is such that it can suck in his insatiable belly of the whole ship.
Long tentacles Luske drags the victim to his lair, grinds to a terrible mouth and greedily devoured them, and when satisfied, regurgitates what's left.
In spite of a very unusual nature of this mysterious phenomenon, it remained unexplored until near the end of the XX century. Not that it did not attract attention, on the contrary, the rumors about him were walking on all fleets. But the grim glory Blue Houls along with documented evidence of disappearances of boats and people in the "blue holes" somehow did not stimulate better divers and divers explore the mysterious marine phenomenon.
To understand what is happening in Andros, oceanography and had to involve aerial photography and scuba divers, and geologists and geographers, and cavers.
As already mentioned, Andros — the largest of the Bahama Islands. At length he reached out to a hundred and fifty miles, and a maximum width is sixty. Andros is located approximately in the middle of a vast limestone shoals in the ocean — Grand Bahama Bank. On three sides it is surrounded by shoals, and with a deep trough vosto'ka is "bearing the name of the Tongue of the Ocean. The depth of the trough-basin — nearly two kilometers away, and the walls of this submarine canyon formed many large caves, grottoes and tunnels.
Blue Houls located usually near the edges of the Tongue of the Ocean, among the coral shoals. But in Andros in the thick tropical forests are similar to the "blue hole" rounded dark lake, a very deep and distinct oddity: their fresh water at depth is replaced by salt water, and they can catch and lake and sea fish.
It was they who were given the key to unlocking the secrets of the Blue Houls. It turned out that the Bahamas — is serving a large part of the limestone hills that were formed millions of years ago. During that time, they had time to form a huge network of caverns and tunnels.
During the last ice age (ten to twenty thousand years ago), the sea level was a hundred and twenty meters lower than it is now. The caves formed in the thickness of limestone, were on the land and actively continued to grow. Some of them joined with the surface, turned into the open shaft.
At a time when the sea level was higher, its water through underwater tunnels filled mine. Well above the top of the sea water accumulated fresh rainwater, creating a kind of "double-decker" lake.
At high tide the sea water near the shore addresses is higher than the level of groundwater in the limestone islands thicker. Then, under the pressure of salt water lake levels rise, and the "blue hole" working as pumps, drawing seawater into its voracious mouth.
When the tide is fresh water are above sea level and put pressure on the underlying layers of salt, pushing them out of the water holes. So there are devouring whirlpools and "sea water fountains," and at the same time heartbreaking maritime myths.
The study of underwater caves was not easy. Divers had to maneuver in narrow aisles between stalactites and stalagmites, the risk of damage to equipment. In this case, there was always the danger of going astray and then find the right tunnel leading to the surface. In addition to the caves is often frequented by sharks variety of shapes and sizes, which, of course, also did not work easier, although predators and had octopus tentacles, like Luske.
Swimming in dark tunnels prevented and strong tidal currents.
But it turned out that even in such an inhospitable environment perfectly accustomed many marine species. At the very bottom are often small nurse sharks, waiting gaping fish. In the cracks and hollows of the rocks refuge crabs and sea crabs. Beautiful sinelilovye and blue sponges arranged on the rocks deep in the "blue holes", and shoals of fish prefer to stay near the border of fresh and salt water. Here, the surface layer of the denser seawater trapped small organic remains, so to speak, "crumbs from the dinner," the inhabitants of the upper floors.
But the solution suction mechanism Blue Houls does not mean that the study of this unique natural wonder completed.
Blue ocean abyss still keep many secrets. One of them cracked open to scientists in 1991. Exploring the largest lake in the depths of Andros, the Indians called the Sacred Blue hole, they found the body of water at the bottom of many human skulls and whole skeletons.
Still have to figure out whether the lake served as the burial place of the Indians who inhabited the island in pre-Columbian era, or the scientists found the remains of victims of ritual sacrifices.
Perhaps someday be able to equip one of the amazing "blue holes" light fixtures and direction and risky adventure lovers can immerse themselves in one of the lakes in Andros and emerge from the dark blue of the abyss was waiting at the side of the boat into the sea.
So far, only tourists on board the ocean liner can enjoy the mysterious and incredible spectacle of the sea beating the mighty fountains, recalling the legend of creepy menacing and unforgiving underwater monster …
Incredible video — diver jumps into the Blue Hole just holding my breath! Watch: