If the Great Barrier Reef wasn’t already cool enough, check out this latest discovery.

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world. This spectacular marine treasure lies off the coast of Australia. The reef is home to the world’s largest coral reef and an abundance of exotic fish species. It reaches a span of 134,286 miles and is the only living thing on earth that is visible from space. All of these unique features make the Great Barrier Reef a must-see destination in your lifetime. Thanks to a recent discovery, you are going to want to head to the Southern Hemisphere sooner than later.

There’s a piece missing from this great reef.

Johnny Gaskell, an Australian marine researcher, has made an astounding new discovery. When examining the reef’s satellite images on Google Maps, he noticed something unusual – a large blue hole.

These underwater sinkholes occur when there is a shift in the sea floor and a section of bedrock declines deeper. The sinkholes earn their dark blue shade due to a larger absorption of sunlight. As the sinkhole drops deeper, the sunlight increases, creating a high level of visibility for the marine basin.

Gaskell is a researcher for Sharks and Rays Australia and made the trek out to the alleged location of this mysterious find. His calculations proved to be accurate. Gaskell and his team found a blue hole beneath the ocean waters, approximately 50-65 feet deep. Within this outlet, they observed large Birdsnest Corals and elongated Staghorn Corals. These coral species are multicolored and branch-like.

This new destination lies within one of the Great Barrier Reef’s largest lagoons. Its location makes it a particularly unique attraction. Since his massive discovery, Gaskell has found two additional sinkholes. He is currently making an effort to visit those as well.

Check out Google Maps and try your hand at spotting a giant blue hole. Even better, visit the Great Barrier Reef in person and catch a glimpse of these oceanic wonders.

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