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Yesterday in the Great Barrier Reef!!! After spotting this deep blue hole on google maps we decided to head far offshore, out further than our normal Reef trips to see what dwelled within. What we found inside was hard to believe considering 5 months ago a Cat 4 cyclone went straight over the top of it. At around 15m – 20m deep there was huge Birdsnest Corals (Seriatopora) and super elongated Staghorn Corals (Acropora) both of which were among the biggest and most delicate colonies I’ve ever seen. Totally unaffected by the cyclone. The position of this deep hole within the lagoon walls has obviously protected these corals for decades. We may very well be the first to ever dive Gaskell’s Blue Hole as it was so far offshore and hidden deep within one of the Great Barrier Reef’s biggest lagoons…

A post shared by Marine Bio | UW Photographer (@johnny_gaskell) on

What a time to be alive. Where once getting your hands on satellite imagery of our big blue planet meant having a connect at NASA, now virtually anyone with a smartphone can explore the world using just their fingertips. And in the hands of talented folks, the tool can be especially powerful.

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Case in point, marine biologist Johnny Gaskell’s discovery of a “blue hole” in the Great Barrier Reef – a feature he says he discovered on Google Maps.

“Yesterday in the Great Barrier Reef!!! After spotting this deep blue hole on google maps we decided to head far offshore, out further than our normal Reef trips to see what dwelled within,” said Gaskell in an Instagram post. ”

“What we found inside was hard to believe considering 5 months ago a Cat 4 cyclone went straight over the top of it. At around 15m – 20m deep there was huge Birdsnest Corals (Seriatopora) and super elongated Staghorn Corals (Acropora) both of which were among the biggest and most delicate colonies I’ve ever seen. Totally unaffected by the cyclone. The position of this deep hole within the lagoon walls has obviously protected these corals for decades. We may very well be the first to ever dive Gaskell’s Blue Hole as it was so far offshore and hidden deep within one of the Great Barrier Reef’s biggest lagoons…”

In his post, Gaskell stopped short of giving away the location of the blue hole – mentioning only that it was “far offshore, out farther than [their] normal Reef trips.” As it turns out, he was intentionally vague.

“Unfortunately Gaskell’s Blue Hole is top secret. And may need to stay that way to protect the wonders within,” Gaskell added in the comments.



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