Cave diving is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. Take a look at the 7 Most Dangerous Underwater Caves on the planet.
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Devil’s Cave, Florida
A submerged labyrinth 50 miles from Gainesville, Florida, Devil's Caves is an intricate system of tunnels and caverns with very pleasant sounding names such as “Little Devil", "Devil's Eye" and "Devil's Ear". This popular site is known for its warm waters and incredible rock formations... as well as it's swirling underwater vortexes that can knock even experienced divers off their game and cause confusion and paranoia deep inside the arteries of the cave.
Jacob’s Well, Texas
Under the surface, Jacob's Well opens up to chambers upon chambers, each a little bit trickier and narrower than the last. Underwater claustrophobia aside, the tiny caves and passageways are lined with silt. When kicked up, the debris clouds the water and makes escaping difficult, and sometimes even futile. Divers who find themselves, trapped in the murk tend to panic, swallowing up gasps of precious air as they frantically try to flee the caves. Often, it's in vain. Jacob's Well has claimed the lives of eight souls.
Blue Hole, Belize
Belize's Blue Hole may just be the most photogenic and gorgeous sinkhole on the planet. It punctures the CARIBBEAN SEABED Caribbean seabed in a perfectly round, 124-meter deep hole, crammed with exotic marine life and coral formations, ripe for the exploring, and is a draw for divers around the world. The only problem is that this deep paradise has become a nightmare for unlucky divers who descend too quickly and find themselves in the maddening grasp of Nitrogen Narcosis, the scourge of divers and the cause of many fatalities underwater. Since the walls of the Blue Hole are solid for 30 meters, novice (and even experienced) divers can accidentally go too far, to the point of no return. Nitrogen Narcosis comes with a host of terrifying symptoms, like hallucinations, anxiety and a feeling of extreme intoxication. When you need to keep your wits about you and make life-or-death decisions, a strong bout of Nitrogen Narcosis can- and does- finish off thrill-seekers and divers.
Eagle’s Nest Sinkhole, Florida
For our number four pick, we head back to the Sunshine State of Florida and check out Eagle's Nest Sinkhole, a whopping 315 meter deep dive site, where explorers can come face to face with their old nemesis, Nitrogen Narcosis, once again. The deeper a dive, the more likely Nitrogen Narcosis will set it, so some divers use a blend of different gases called "trimix" to offset the effects. There is no sure-fire way to stave off the murderous underwater sickness though, as Eagle's Nest Sinkhole proves. Even experienced divers have been sentenced to the depths here. The problem is the sheer extent of the dive.
Cenote Esqueleto, "The Temple of Doom", Mexico
What's in a name? Well, when it's a snarl of sunken tunnels affectionately referred to “THE TEMPLE OF DOOM” "The Temple of Doom", there's a lot. Labyrinthine doesn't begin to cover it. Divers are strongly advised to keep out of the cavern's mazy and inky passageways, sticking only to the well-lit areas to avoid getting lost and perishing in the dark, alone, as has been the fate of so many visitors to the "Temple of Doom".
The Shaft Sinkhole, Australia
Coming in at number two is arguably the most treacherous cave diving site in the world. Australia's Shaft Sinkhole has the trifecta of terrifying cave challenges wrapped up into one scary dive that many adventurers never return from. The sinkhole is deep, tempting Nitrogen Narcosis to grab some unlucky victims. It's also full of silt and debris- causing a murky slurr to the fill of minuscule passageways and makes for poor navigation. Finally, the Shaft Sinkhole is full of undersized openings, including the famous entrance to the cave system, where divers must actually remove their equipment to squeeze in. This cave is not for the claustrophobic or faint of heart, but for those brave enough to traverse her depths the payout is huge. The Shaft Sinkhole is full of incredible rock formations and otherworldly natural elements. Just make sure you have enough air to pinch yourself back through the tiny entrance. Getting lost or running out of air is the number one cause of death in these caverns.
Egypt’s Blue Hole
What could edge out the Shaft Sinkhole for the top spot on our list?
How about a place called Diver's Cemetery", where 150 thrill-seekers have perished? Egypt's Blue Hole is the most lethal dive site in the world. YURI LIPSKI Yuri Lipski, who met his fate at the bottom of the hole, accidentally filmed his own death. The video is difficult to watch, especially because Yuri's face is beaming at the beginning in blissful ignorance of what lies ahead. And by the end, he's deep in the clutches of Nitrogen Narcosis, confused and alone in the Blue Hole.