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"The portal to hell is open". OceanGate founder to lead expedition to unexplored 'blue hole' in the Bahamas

"The portal to hell is open". OceanGate founder to lead expedition to unexplored 'blue hole' in the Bahamas
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Guillermo Sölline founded OceanGate in 2009, along with Stockton Rasha, who died last year with four other passengers during a submarine expedition to the Titanic wreckage.

Prior to the tragedy, Sölline parted ways with OceanGate and founded his own company, Blue Marble Exploration, which this year plans to explore the "Dean's Blue Hole" in the Bahamas on a submarine — one of the deepest ocean caves on the planet.

Guillermo Sölline

Sölline's team will include scientist Kenny Brod and former NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski, who expect to make "unprecedented discoveries."

"Today, Dean's Blue Hole is almost unexplored," the company says on its website. "Venturing into uncharted waters, our team will have to face surprises."

According to Blue Marble, Dean's Blue Hole is a dark blue underwater cave 200 meters deep (the third deepest in the world, which is why it is not well explored), formed 15,000 years ago.

Dean's Blue Hole

The cave has a "vase" shape — with a narrow opening at the surface leading to a much wider chamber at the bottom. Some scientists believe that in the chamber connecting the blue hole to the Atlantic Ocean, there may be openings that could potentially "cause unforeseen currents and thermal layers" that would impede underwater operations.

"There is a certain element of unpredictability that our team will encounter in new territory."

One of the biggest challenges will be the pressure at the bottom (almost 300 pounds per square inch) — roughly 20 times greater than at the surface.

Local residents have dubbed the cave a "portal to hell" because people die there every year.

"We fully expect to find human remains and are preparing to address these situations with due respect to the families," the company said.

Of course, this expedition pales in comparison to the depth planned to be reached by members of the "Titan" expedition — to the remains of the Titanic at a depth of over 12,500 feet (3,800 meters). In June of last year, an OceanGate submarine exploded, claiming the lives of five team members, including a company co-founder.

Tourist bathyscaphe "Titan"

Contact with the passengers, who each paid $250,000 for the expedition, was lost approximately 2 hours after the start of the journey, and the subsequent search operation lasted 5 days. Eventually, the U.S. Coast Guard announced that they had come across the wreckage of the "Titan" — all passengers were crushed to death under tremendous pressure in less than a second.

Source: NY Post

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