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News Link • Geography

BAHAMAS reporting Big 'BLUE' HOLES under Water

What lies below the Bahamas in the Caribbean? A veiled world of fossils, blind creatures and scientific riddles. In next month's issue of National Geographic magazine, an international team of cave divers led by anthropologist Kenny Broad of the University of Miami reveals the mysteries hidden from vacationers' view. The two-month expedition, paid for by the National Geographic Society, was merely a small slice of time in a years-long effort to uncover the secrets of this realm, which has been plumbed by researchers for at least three decades. Only a few miles inland from the Bahamas' sparkling coral reefs, the islands' limestone boasts dozens of submerged caves, "blue holes," some of them hidden in what look like island swimming holes linked to the ocean. But swimming holes they are not. The inland caves on five islands sport freshwater caps covering heavier saltwater layers, sometimes filled with clouds of poisonous hydrogen sulfide released by salt-eating microbes, acting

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