Richard Branson to Lead Expedition to Bottom of the Belize Blue Hole
Sir Richard Branson, the freewheeling British business magnate known for his love of adventure, has announced that he will personally lead a submarine expedition to map and film the depths of the Belize Blue Hole.
Aquatica Submarines, a Canadian firm that manufactures specialty underwater vehicles, has announced that it will provide both piloted submarines and remotely operated scanning drones to collect scientific data, create a detailed sonar map, and film the depths of the Belize Blue Hole.
One vehicle is expected to be piloted by Branson as part of a team led by scientists from the Roatan Institute of Deep Sea Exploration (RIDE) and filmmaker Fabien Cousteau. Florien is the grandson of Jacques Cousteau, the marine biologist and filmmaker who made the Belize Blue Hole world famous after a historic visit in 1971.
The Belize Blue Hole is a natural phenomenon that can be seen from outer space. Almost perfectly circular in diameter, the Belize Blue Hole measures around 1,000 feet (300 meters) across and some 400 feet (120 meters) deep. At the bottom of the Belize Blue Hole is a vast cave structure that was once on dry land but became submerged approximately 100,000 years ago at the end of the last great ice age.