The terrestrial world is indeed an interesting one, with many intriguing yet very attractive features. The intrigues of the world, however, are not limited to this portion of the globe. Many features under water are just as interesting. Some of these were initially terrestrial until earthquakes, flooding or such related geological events submerged them. The good news is that most of them are only a simple dive away. Here are ten such sites that you should visit when you get the chance.
1. Azure Window – Gozo Island, Malta
Situated a few kilometres from Dwejra Bay, this natural arch of limestone is a popular destination for cliff and scuba divers alike. Cliff divers have a great spot off the window while scuba divers have the Blue Hole cave to explore. The 80-meter tunnel from the cave entrance to its bowels holds a great diversity of sea life including octopi and fire worms.
2. Green Lake — Tragoess, Austria
During spring, snowmelt from the neighbouring Karst Mountains fills the Green Lake, the surrounding county park and the land basin right below the mountains. This phenomenon transforms this whole area into one of the most beautiful water bodies on earth. During this time, the lake attains a maximum depth of 12 metres. This depth and the clear and clean water attract divers from all parts of the world.
3. Jacob’s Well — Wimberley City, Texas
Every summer, Jacob’s Well becomes a beehive of activity because of the many tourists who come to dive. The well has four known chambers and, despite its beauty, is among the most dangerous spots you can ever dive. The first two chambers are 9 and 24 meters. These welcome almost every diver. The other two are a preserve of experienced divers only.
4. Great Blue Hole — Belize
At more than 300 metres radius and an estimated deepness of 125 meters, the Great Blue Hole is the biggest sinkhole or underwater cave in the world. It presents a captivating view especially when you are airborne. Divers, however, love it for the fascinating sights of coral reefs within and the many geological formations.
5. The Great Barrier Reef – Queensland, Australia
With an abundant marine life and a combination of more than 3000 coral cays, reef systems and hundreds of beautiful tropical islands, the Great Barrier Reef is easily the largest of its kind in the world. Because of its size, the reef offers visitors an opportunity to try out several captivating activities including scuba diving, snorkelling, glass bottom boat viewing, whale watching, swimming with the dolphins and self-sailing among a plethora of other activities. It is also a home for the Crown of Thorns Starfish which is one of the greatest threats to the Reef.
6. The Submerged Ancient Port of Baia – Pozzuoli, Italy
Many earthquakes on this ancient port submerged a large portion and now many of its mammoth brick piers, Roman statues, remnants of many luxurious villas and other structures such as the famed Misenum Lighthouse, are now under the sea level. The Italian authorities gazetted the area as an archaeological park to preserve its immense beauty.
7. Port Royal, Jamaica
Dubbed the wickedest city in the world, Port Royal was a pirate haven of the 17th century. Back then, every building in the town was either a brothel or an inn serving the needs of hundreds of seafaring men who frequented the port. A tsunami then sank most of the port and killed many people in its wake. The leftover underwater site now has submerged ships, buildings, paved streets and several artefacts.
8. Lake Jindabyne – New South Wales, Australia
Dam water flooded and submerged the initial location of Jindabyne town slipping a huge part of this settlement under water. A huge portion of this still remains intact and is visible whenever water level drops.
9. The Manta Resort – Zanzibar, Tanzania
This fancy hotel on the East African coast offers its guests, underwater rooms with unbridled visibility of the coral outcrops nearby as well as the shoals of fish that reside in these corals. Guests can choose to snorkel or just stay afloat and take in the majesty of the sea.
10. Cancun Underwater Museum – Cancun, Mexico
This unique museum is a collection of 500 sculptures submerged at depths of between 3 and 6 metres. Several hurricanes as well as the devastating effects of divers, tourists and anchors on the corals, decimated the region’s sea life. The museum is thus, an attempt at restoring this lost sea life by diverting the divers’ attention from the natural corals and offering an alternative but suitable habitat for marine life.