Delving into the unknown is both scary and interesting but to these adventure seekers and researchers, there is nothing more exciting than new significant discoveries.
Richard Branson will join the submarine expedition that will dive into the bottom of deep and dark largest underwater sinkhole in Belize – the Great Blue Hole. This is going to be quite a stunt since scuba divers usually plunge to a pinnacle of 130 feet underwater. What lies at the bottom is still waiting to be discovered and there would be lots of it.
Ocean Unite and Virgin Voyages (formerly Virgin Cruises launched by Virgin Group with Branson as founder) will sponsor Branson and Fabien Cousteau Aquatica submarine dive plunge to the Great Blue Hole on December 2. Branson is likewise a co-founder of Ocean Unite that was established in 2015 to intensify the messaging and objectives of organizations engaging in ocean conservation with support from a network of global connoisseurs.
Branson and Fabien Cousteau will accompany Erika Bergman, the chief pilot of Aquatica Submarines. They will establish numerous explorations into the sinkhole aboard the remote-piloted Stingray 500 submarine gathering data and mapping out the sunken cave. Cousteau is the Jacques Cousteau’s grandson. It was the elder Cousteau who gave the sinkhole’s name in 1971.
“One of the most interesting marks that we are really excited to do is oxygen testing. We’ve heard that in the Blue Hole there is an anoxic layer near the bottom [and] things don’t degrade in anoxic areas so we could find preserved life,” Bergman said.
Hundreds of centuries ago, the Blue Hole was once a system of caves that used to lie above sea level with limestone stalagmites and stalactites that hang majestically from the ceilings. Because of the planet’s most recent glacial period, the rising sea submerged the formation and eventually wearied forming an underwater sinkhole which is now the Great Blue Hole.
In 1997, scientists measured the Great Blue Hole with the use of sonar technology and were the first and most concluded so far. Bergman’s group expects to collect scientific data on marine conditions which include water quality as well as bacterial activity. They also aim to achieve high-resolution footage and a definite plan of the sinkhole’s internal composition for the first time.
Branson hopes that his participation in the project will develop awareness in conserving the ocean. At the same time, support the aim of preserving at least 30% of the ocean by 2030. The Great Blue Hole expedition will be broadcasted live worldwide on the Discovery Channel.