- Screen grab/Reuters video
Good news: China claims it has discovered the world’s largest hole.
On Wednesday, state broadcaster CCTV announced that the newly found “dragon’s hole,” a 984-foot (300-meter) cavern in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, is now the world’s largest hole.
With territorial claims by Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Taiwan, and China, the South China Sea – rich in natural resources and crisscrossed by shipping routes – is one of the most militarized areas on the planet.
According to Xinhua, the blue hole is called the “eye” by locals and lies within the disputed Paracel Islands, which is claimed by China and Taiwan and Vietnam.
- Reuters/Amanda Macias/Business Insider
This would surpass the Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas, which plunges to a 663-foot depth.
Yang Zuosheng, a professor at the Ocean University of China, said researchers used a variety of methods to ascertain the hole’s depth.
“[Determining] the depth has to be done through a series of calibrations – for example, calibrations [based on] tidal water levels, temperature, level of salt, sea water density. But no matter which type of calibration, the depth should be around 300 meters,” he said.
Blue holes were formed during previous ice ages.
Chinese scientists will continue to study the marine life within the hole, though because of its depth, water beyond a certain level has no oxygen, meaning few creatures are likely to be found in the lowest reaches, scientists said.