On Valentine’s day, Malaysian divers discovered what might be the world’s first pair of underwater ‘blue holes’

Malaysia’s discovery, dubbed “The Blue Hole in Tingkayu Corals”, was found by divers and researchers on a week-long scientific expedition to collect marine data in Sabah’s Darvel Bay.
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  • On Feb 14, Malaysian divers discovered a pair of blue holes in Darvel Bay, each 15 metres deep into the seabed.

  • Divers found the holes when a remote sensing map identified the spot as a coral area.

  • Blue holes are large marine sinkholes accessible from the surface. The most famous ones are popular scuba diving sites.

  • While many blue holes have been found worldwide, so far, none have come as a pair.

On Valentine’s Day this year, Malaysian divers discovered something unusual off Sabah’s Lahad Datu: a pair of blue holes sitting in Darvel Bay, each 15 metres deep into the seabed.

It is the country’s first known discovery of blue holes in its waters.

Blue holes – named for the deep blue colour of the water in them – are large marine sinkholes accessible from the surface and popular among divers as underwater exploration sites.

 

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Read also: Researchers just discovered the world’s deepest underwater sinkhole

While many blue holes have been found worldwide (including the largest and most famous, the Great Blue Hole in Belize), none of the holes so far have come as a pair.

 

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Malaysia’s discovery, dubbed “The Blue Hole in Tingkayu Corals”, was found by divers and researchers on a week-long scientific expedition to collect marine data in the bay, state news agency Bernama reported on Sunday (Mar 10).

Darvel Bay, which covers about 100,000 hectares and contains 50 islands, is located in east Sabah, within Malaysian Borneo.

The expedition, which began on Feb 11, was organised by Sabah Foundation and the Lahad Datu District Office, the report added.

Nasrulhakim Maidin, a senior research officer from local conservation body Sabah Parks, told Bernama that the divers stumbled upon the discovery when a remote sensing map identified the spot as a coral area.

Divers then entered the holes, which Nasrulhakim described as a “sunken coral structure”, Bernama said. Inside, they found “lots of corals” but a “minimal presence of fish”.

Nasrulhakim added: “We explored both blue holes and could cover the site with just one tank of gas. The experience was amazing. When we came out of the blue hole from the left to the right, we were like moving over a mountain range in the sea.”

The researchers also found green turtles and hawksbill turtles – which are critically endangered – in the area.

Nasrulhakim added that the holes could become an iconic scuba diving and sea-walking attraction equal to The Great Blue Hole of Belize or other popular blue holes, adding that the site was only an hour from Sipadan, a world-famous dive spot.

He added, however, that the bay would first need to be gazetted as a marine protected area.

Read also:  China claims it has discovered the world’s largest hole, and it’s in one of the most dangerous places on the planet