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Dragon Hole

Main characteristics

Coordinates: 16.5250 N 111.7681 E
No:556        (list of all attractions)
Category:Sinkholes, Geographical extremes
Values:Geology, Visual
Rank:3
Address:Asia, China (disputed), Paracel Islands, in shallow bank to the east from Pattle Island, near Discovery Reef
Name in Chinese:三沙永乐龙洞 (Longdong)
Alternate names:Sansha Yongle Blue Hole
Depth:300.89 m
Dragon Hole, Paracel Islands
Dragon Hole with expedition vessels / screenshot from The Cosmos News Youtube video

Currently the deepest known underwater sinkhole (blue hole) is Dragon Hole - 300.89 m deep hole in a shallow shoal in Paracel Islands.

This sinkhole has been known to local fishers for centuries. According to local legends this is the eye of the South China Sea and here the Monkey King found his golden mace.

In 2015 - 2016 a team of Chinese researchers (Sansha Ship Course Research Institute for Coral Protection) explored this unusual place, robot "Video Ray Pro 4" reached full depth of the sinkhole.

Upper part of the sinkhole is rich with sea life but at the approximate depth of 100 m starts a layer of oxugen-free water which, most likely, is devoid of life.

Dragon Hole has formed in the massive Miocene deposits of limestone which are more than 1200 m thick (1). It is not quite clear how such a deep underwater sinkhole was created.

Currently (end of 2016) fishing and tourism in this area has been prohibited.

Map

See Dragon Hole on the map of China!

 

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