Disturbing discovery after finally reaching bottom of Great Blue Hole

 I'm all for the pursuit of information, but there are some things that seem best left alone. I'm talking about old Egyptian tombs, black holes, and massive, ominous caverns descending into the ocean's depths.

Consider this: is whatever possibly horrific thing we discover really worth the lessons we learn from it?

My usual response would be no, but an exploration of Belize's Great Blue Hole has shown that sometimes disturbing findings are worthwhile.

The massive hole in the ocean is about 60 miles off the shore of Belize and descends more than 400 feet into the water. Divers were unable to investigate much of the hole for a long time because they lacked the necessary equipment to reach its depths. But that altered as technology advanced, and when billionaire Richard Branson became interested in the hole.

When diver Fabien Cousteau traveled there to capture high-quality photographs and videos of the mysteries hidden beneath the surface, the Virgin founder went on an expedition to the hole. Unfortunately, what lay at the bottom of the beautiful, mysterious ocean formation sums up mankind as we know it in part.

The crew discovered a two-liter plastic bottle as well as a long-lost GoPro with photos from someone's vacation on it. But that wasn't the end of it. The crew also found two bodies in the hole; divers who had gone missing in the great cavern. Though the sight certainly would have been unnerving, the team chose to leave the bodies where they were, determining the hole to be a good final resting place. However, they did let the Belize government know the divers had been found.

When the team dove into the depths of the hole in a submersible vehicle, they discovered a large series of caves that were home to hanging stalactites - but scientists didn't believe stalactites could develop beneath the surface of the water.
The discovery revealed that the caves, which are hundreds of feet beneath the ocean's surface, were once on dry ground.

"The Blue Hole is made of a complex system of caves that once formed on dry land," Branson wrote in a post on Virgin.com, emphasizing how disturbing this finding is for the state of the planet. It demonstrates how rapidly and catastrophically the oceans can rise.

"Once upon a time, sea levels were hundreds of feet lower. When a lot of ice melted around the globe 10,000 years ago, the sea level rose by about 300 feet. At 300 feet down, you could see the change in the rock where land had become water."

'One of the starkest reminders of the dangers of climate change [he's] ever seen,' Branson said of the sight.

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