[ Long Island ] • Dean's Blue Hole

Andros alone has, at least, 200 of them. However, that’s not the only place where you find blue holes in The Bahamas. They’re dotted across almost of the islands. Some of them are found inland and are home to both fresh & saltwater while others are found in the ocean.

 

Blue Hole in Andros
Photo by: L'Oreal Sweeting


What are blue holes exactly though? And why the hell do we have so many in The Bahamas?


A blue hole, simply put is nothing more than a flooded cave. Why they’re called blue holes should be obvious from their colour. If you couldn’t figure that out on your own… Well… Well. It’s estimated that there are well over 1,000 blue holes strewn across this archipelago. There are so many found here because our islands are made of limestone.

Limestone rocks, when in contact with even slightly acidic ground or rain water will eventually dissolve and ultimately give way to the creation of caves, caverns, sinkholes and similar geological features. This was the case with The Islands of The Bahamas with cave systems and blue holes forming thousands of years ago. Even as far back as the last ice age.

Blue holes are filled with many unique species of animals. There have also been fossils of animals no longer found in The Bahamas like crocodiles and even human remains. It’s believed that the indigenous Bahamian people, the Lucayans used blue holes as burial sites. In my last post, I spoke about how they met their unfortunate demise.



There is even folklore surrounding blue holes. It’s said that a creature called the Lusca, which is half shark and octopus, lives at the bottom of blue holes and that its breathing inhales and exhales are the reason why blue holes experience high & low tide-like periods and other phenomena such as whirlpools.

While Andros has the most blue holes of any island, the deepest blue hole in The Bahamas is found in Long Island. Until recently, it was actually the deepest blue hole in the world. Now, it is regarded as the second deepest recorded blue hole in the world behind China’s Dragon Hole.


This blue hole is named Dean’s Blue Hole and is found in the settlement of Dean’s.

The blue hole itself is protected by a natural amphitheatre on almost all sides and a shallow lagoon on the other. You can hike upwards along its cliff and enjoy the amazing view of the blue hole below and its surrounding beach.


Jumping into Dean’s Blue Hole is also an option. I did it twice during my last visit. Though it would be remiss of me to not mention that it really took me about 20 minutes on the edge of the cliff to psych myself up into making the plunge the first time I did it.


There are no lifeguards on duty and the blue hole itself, which sinks dramatically, is just a few feet from the shore. So, unless you’re a strong swimmer, it’s best to stay in the water nearer to the shore.


Whenever you’re in Long Island, be sure to check out this world wonder and maybe even run into a mythical Bahamian creature. If you’ve ever been and even jumped in, let me know how your experience was.