The deep azure mysteries of the sea will soon be uncovered as leading submarine and subsea technology company Aquatica Submarines announces a historic expedition to the bottom of Belize's Blue Hole this Fall 2018. The expedition brings together Ocean Unite co-founder and Virgin Group founder, entrepreneur and philanthropist Richard Branson, Aquanaut, documentary filmmaker and ocean conservationist Fabien Cousteau (grandson of the famed oceanic explorer and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau), and submarine partner the Roatan Institute of Deep Sea Exploration (RIDE). Aquatica has also enlisted a team of scientists, explorers and filmmakers to share the beautiful mysteries that await at the bottom of Belize's Blue Hole. Multiple submersibles will descend to the bottom of the Blue Hole to collect scientific data, focusing on a complete sonar scan of the interior.
Situated in the center of Lighthouse Reef off the coast of Belize, the Blue Hole is a giant marine sinkhole that is 1,043 ft (318 m) in diameter and 407 ft (124 m) deep. To put its size into perspective, the Blue Hole could easily swallow two entire Boeing 747s in one gulp, undiscoverable from the surface. The Blue Hole is a part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System which is a World Heritage Site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
In 1971, the site's name was coined by legendary oceanic explorer and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau as one of the top five scuba diving sites in the world. In the same adventurous spirit as Cousteau, the Aquatica mission—which will be captured by a videographer who is also a marine biologist—is not just about feeding curiosity, but also about ocean education, conservation and scientific research.
Led by Harvey Flemming, a successful entrepreneur and adventurer, Vancouver, BC based Aquatica Submarines is an emerging and innovative company in the manned submersible technology space. The company's Stingray 500 submarine will be one of the two submersibles that will venture to the bottom of the Blue Hole to explore its depths for the historic expedition this fall.