Blue Hole

Useful Information

Location: North of Dahab on the east coast of the Sinai peninsula.
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification:  Doline or sink
Light: bring torch
Guided tours:  
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Last update:$Date: 2015/08/30 21:57:01 $



There are numerous blue holes on earh, mostly a term used by divers. This Blue Hole at the eastern coast of the Sinai peninsula, north of Dahab, is no exception. A deep hole surrounded by rather shallow ground always looks deep blue, which easily explains the origin of the name. The question is, how does it form? There is actually no force concering the erosion of the sea, which would create such a hole. Some holes might be a result of the growth of corals, especially if there is something under water like an spring, which would disturb the growth of corals.

However, the most simple and common explanation is karstification. Caves which were formed while the sea was much lower, during the ice ages, or which were downlifted by tectonic forces. There are numerous cave openings in the caribbean sea, especially around Yucatan peninsula. And this one is such a pothole too. Actually of impressive size, as the hole is 130m deep. We decided to call it a doline, although it actually simply is a pot hole or shaft and we do not know much about its genesis.

Obviously this is a diving site, not a caving site. Unfortunately we must say, as this blue hole is not a romantic spot, but a deadly one. At least 40 divers died here, which is the official number given by the Egypt government. There are numerous reasons for this, probably the good touristic develoment in the area concentrating on water sports especially diving. Also the mystery of the deep pit. And of course the cave at a depth of 52m called the Arch. It connects the pothole with the open sea, and is generally the cause of the death of the divers. It is too deep, below the limit of 40m where the danger zone of nitrogen narcosis starts. And it is difficult to cross as it is easily underestimated.

From the geologic or caving point of view, this is an interesting place. It shows the karstification of the area in an impressive way. However, we recommend to do some swimming and probably snorkeling and then leave it.

See also

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