Scuba diving is a popular recreational activity among adventure seekers worldwide. The isolation, serenity, and calm of the dark quiet waters offer an unusual escape from the world above.
Many recreational divers are quite content to remain at shallow levels exploring reefs and other interesting sea life. Some dive enthusiasts will attest to the desire to dive deeper to chart new unexplored places underwater and see things that have never been seen before. It’s this very desire that drives divers to take on some terrifying and dangerous challenges like the ones featured here.
Blue Hole, Lighthouse Reef Belize
The Blue Hole in Lighthouse Reef off the coast of Belize offers beautiful clear waters, marine wildlife and some of the deepest diving around. With a depth of 407ft, divers who visit this site push to challenge themselves and go deeper, trying to see things previously unexplored. This is where the danger sets in. The walls of the hole are sheer until a depth of 110ft after which, divers will encounter jagged stalactite formations on the hole’s limestone walls. In 2012, the Blue Hole in Belize was named #1 on Discovery Channel’s “The 10 Most Amazing Places on Earth”.
Cenote Esqueleto, Tulum Mexico
Cenote Esqueleto or more commonly known as “Temple of Doom” is another popular and dangerous cave diving site. This one lies just beyond the famous Tulum Ruins in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. This site features numerous caverns and tight passageways which can all spell danger even for experienced divers. There’s no ladder down into the cave network so the only way down is to just jump right in. Once below it’s easy to get disorientated, lost and run out of air down here, as was the case for a father and son dive team in 1996.
Devil’s Caves, Ginnie Springs Florida
Ginnie Springs is a popular cave diving destination about 35 miles northwest of Gainsville Florida. The temperatures in these crystal clear waters are a balmy 72 degrees Fahrenheit year round removing the need for a thick wetsuit. Little Devil, Devil’s Eye and Devil’s Ear are the most notable and dangerous sites in the springs. Beware, this serene looking spring has a very deceptive and strong flowing current, making for some dangerous diving. Especially at the vortex opening to the Devil’s Ear where divers gear is often shifted around.
Samaesan Hole, Samae San Islands Thailand
Samaesan Hole in the Gulf of Thailand is a popular deep diving spot. It’s also a very dangerous one for a few different reasons; first of all, the depth. At 280ft (85m) this should only be attempted by deep dive professionals with all the right equipment. Another danger is the strong currents of this dive area. One diver recounts a time where he surfaced from his dive miles away from the hole and had to be rescued by a passing deep-sea trawler. The last and maybe most dangerous aspect of Samaesan Hole are the unexploded bombs littering the seabed all around this area as the site is a former military explosive dumping ground.
What is your favorite spot to go diving?