The Giant Blue Hole off the coast of Belize is not only one of the greatest diving destinations the world has to offer, it has also led researchers to believe that the Mayan civilization collapsed due to drought.
In the video above, Matt Sampson will walk you through how this natural wonder, which was made famous by undersea explorer, Jacques Cousteau, is connected to their disappearance.
The period between A.D. 800 and A.D. 1000 is said to have been when the civilization “disappeared,” when many cities, including Tikal, Copan and Palenque, were abandoned.
The Blue Hole is over 984 feet across and 410 feet deep. It is located at the center of an atoll called Lighthouse Reef, where an entire island of coral engulfs the turquoise-colored waters of a lagoon.
Originally, the sinkhole started as a limestone cave during the last glacial period. At this time, sea levels were much lower. When the ocean began to rise, the cave system became flooded and collapsed, creating the “vertical cave” that it is today.