The Middle Caicos Ocean Hole. The tiny speck on the blue hole is a boat.
At nearly twice the diameter of the
Great Blue Hole of Belize and three times the diameter of
Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas, the Middle Caicos Ocean Hole is likely the widest blue hole in the world.
Found off the south coast of Middle Caicos in the shallow Caicos Banks, the Ocean Hole is a 250 foot (76 m) deep geological feature that can clearly be seen by air when flying by Middle Caicos. At nearly 2000 feet (.6 km) in diameter, the Ocean Hole is by far the largest of the blue hole features in the Turks and Caicos.
Like nearly all
caves and sinkholes in the country, the Ocean Hole was formed by the Karst Process. In previous ages when sea levels were lower, slightly acidic rain water would slowly dissolve the soft limestone of the Turks and Caicos plateau as it made its way to the water table. Because this process happened anywhere rain water puddled, small sinkholes and formations can be seen wherever there's the harder Turks and Caicos limestone, even on the highest points in the islands.
The giant Ocean Hole off the south coast of Middle Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands.
Although not much is known about the Ocean Hole, several expeditions were made out to the site over the last few decades for sounding and diving. It's said that visibility is quite poor and
hammerhead sharks abound!
Getting to the Middle Caicos Ocean Hole
Due to the hole's location, access is difficult. The entire south side of Middle Caicos is
mangroves and wetlands with no roads breaking through to the south coast. Ocean depth in the vicinity of the Ocean Hole is also quite shallow. Access is only feasible as a long ride on a small boat that draws very little water.