Blue Holes Contain Microbial Biodiversity

More than 1000 blue holes in the Bahamas may contain mysterious microbial particles and according to the scientists they do have a microbial biodiversity. Blue holes are deep, circular columns of water that are formed when rainwater dissolves a sink hole through limestone rock. Only 20% of blue holes in Bahamas were explored so far and scientists assume that by their uniqueness blue holes present a huge playground for research and interest. Some blue holes in the Bahamas area are landlocked and rainwater forms a thin layer of freshwater on top of denser, salty water. The interesting and attracting point in the blue holes is that the fresh and salt waters are not mixed due to the density difference between the layers and oxygen inputs from the atmosphere are unable to replenish the lower depths.  

The consistency of the water in the blue holes was also analyzed. According to the reports by scientists from Texas A&M University and Pennsylvania State University, the water in blue holes contains microbial biofilms dominated by green sulfur bacteria from the phylum Chlorobi and a diverse class of bacteria called deltaproteobacteria. Additionally, a number of microbial bacteria were discovered unique to the blue holes of Bahamas. Scientists suppose that so different and diverse bacterial life in the blue holes may be caused by different cave passage geometries that likely impacted the degree of sunlight penetration, water residence times and water chemistry. Scientists assume that the research of the blue holes in Bahamas may bring us answers to the questions about life on the Earth millions of years ago when oceans were anoxic, as well as theories about lives on other planets of the universe.


source: www.earthsky.org