Watch this mesmerising underwater sandfall

The world’s deepest blue hole has an amazing and unique secret.
By Corinna Halloran

Only eight metres off the white sand shores off Long Island in the Bahamas is the deepest blue hole in the world: Dean’s Blue Hole. This spectacular underwater feature has been wowing freedivers and nature lovers for a long time now, but (unless you’re an elite freediver) chances are you’ve never seen this unique aspect of Dean’s Blue Hole: an underwater sandfall.

Dean’s Blue Hole quickly goes from 10-12m to 220m in depth and its taper acts like a funnel. It’s like a cave without a top. The angle is just right in this one particular place for the sand to slide down.

“I’ve never seen this anywhere else in the world,” underwater filmmaker Daan Verhoeven said.

The width of the falls can vary from just a little trickle to as wide as a metre, with both large and small bits of sand falling. As the Bahamian sand is incredibly fine, it resembles mist as it slips past the edge – much like a waterfall back on land.

The sandfall occurs every time the bay is busy – when there is movement on the beach. So with a freediving competition happening, there was more than enough activity to move the sand to create this mesmerising phenomenon.

Verhoeven explained that when he sees the sandfall occurring, he loves to grab the freedivers for some cool images and videos. For this video, Anna von Boetticher and Georgina Miller are playing in the beautiful sandfalls. Verhoeven added, “With the sand so fine, the divers must wear a hood otherwise they’re combing sand out of their hair for days.”

The sand mists down into Dean's Blue Hole
The sand mists down into Dean's Blue Hole © Daan Verhoeven
Sand mists down in the Dean's Blue Hole
Inside the sandfall © Daan Verhoeven

And, just in case this sandfall wasn’t unique enough, Verhoeven explained that there must be an exit or passage for the sand to escape – otherwise the hole would have filled up over time. It really is like a continuous hourglass.

Want to see more mesmerising footage of Dean’s Blue Hole? Check out this unique POV dive of Stig Pryds.

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