Exploring the Most Dangerous Dive Sites on Earth

From Blackwater diving off Kona to Lake Titicaca on the border between Bolivia and Peru, there are a number of places that require extra care when exploring them underwater. Learn more about these dangerous dive sites with this guide.

Exploring the Most Dangerous Dive Sites on Earth

The world is full of incredible dive sites, but some of them are more dangerous than others. From the depths of the Blue Hole to the heights of Lake Titicaca, there are a number of places that require extra caution and preparation before attempting a dive. Blackwater diving, for example, involves suspending divers in completely black water, usually in the deep channel off the coast of Kona. In the dark of night, strange bioluminescent creatures come to the surface to feed and create their own light, creating a psychedelic spectacle for brave divers.

Lake Titicaca is located on the border between Bolivia and Peru and is the highest navigable lake in the world at 12,507 feet (3,812 meters) above sea level. This lake has been a perpetual attraction for deep-sea divers due to its unique features. The water is not clear or warm, but there are plenty of sights to see. In 2000, archaeologists diving in the lake even discovered the submerged ruins of an ancient temple believed to predate the Inca empire.

The lake is also home to the rare Kaira frog. However, due to its high altitude, divers must be properly trained and informed before attempting a dive here. Chuuk (Truk) Lagoon in Micronesia was a Japanese naval base at the end of World War II. The concentration of ships was a goal for allied forces, which bombed the lagoon in 1944 and sank 12 warships, 32 merchant ships and 275 aircraft. One of these ships was San Francisco Maru, a 385 foot (117 meter) passenger ship now in an upright position in 210 feet (64 meters) of water.

The deck can be found at a depth of 49 meters (160 feet), but it can usually be seen from recreational limits if you're not a technical diver. If you feel comfortable and well-trained enough, you can check out the holds which are packed with military ammunition including mines, torpedoes and three tanks. Cold-water diving and ice diving are extreme activities on their own, but if we add a trip to one of the most remote places on Earth we have one of the most extreme dive sites in history: Antarctica. This continent has plenty to offer divers from underwater ice formations to unique marine life. Penguins, seals and several gastropods are just some of the fascinating sights that await divers here.

However, due to its temperature and aerial environment conditions, only experienced divers should attempt this strenuous journey. Los Angeles is one of the few places in the world where it is possible to take PADI Heli-Diver 1 specialty course. To qualify as a specialized diver you'll have to do two jumps and dives in the area and one of them will likely be on Eureka oil platform which is an 8-minute helicopter ride from mainland. In this helicopter you'll be ready to jump 15 feet into water. In a highly practiced and technical dance between pilot, “jump master” and divers each participant falls freely to site where dive boat and Divemaster wait to continue with normal diving procedures. The highlight of diving in Temple of Doom is halocline effect.

This cave system is locally known as Cenote Calavera or Cave of Skulls and it's full of very dark and winding caves so caution is recommended. To ensure that other people don't attempt dives outside their limits only people certified to enter cave system can wear dive lights. Do not enter cave section without proper training or without trained guide. Omar is one of most important technical divers in Egypt and world as he's part of exclusive 200-meter club (it's said that fewer people have dived deeper than 200 meters than those who have landed on Moon). More than 150 divers are said to have lost their lives in Dahab Blue Hole in last 10 years earning underwater sinkhole ominous nickname “Diver's Graveyard”.Select itineraries of dive cruises and dive resorts in Ecuador's Galapagos Islands now offer unique snorkel excursion.

However Omar still remembers his first “mission” as if it were yesterday when he recovered body of Russian-Israeli diver Yuri Lipski at request of his grieving mother. This is especially important when it comes to dive sites mentioned above whose difficult conditions make them particularly deadly. When asked about world's deadliest dive site many divers will immediately think about Blue Hole. People immerse themselves in state of mind that isn't exactly first-rate; some are not qualified or experienced enough so it's important to remember that these dives should only be attempted by those who are properly trained. The Blue Hole dive site seen from above has strong currents and very cold water making conditions difficult even without considering depth. Diving can be an incredibly rewarding experience but it's important to remember that some sites require extra caution and preparation before attempting a dive. From Blackwater diving off Kona to Lake Titicaca on the border between Bolivia and Peru, there are a number of places that require extra care when exploring them underwater.

The Blue Hole has earned an ominous nickname due to its high number of diver deaths over recent years while Chuuk Lagoon offers an incredible opportunity for technical divers looking for sunken ships from World War II. Antarctica offers unique marine life but should only be attempted by experienced divers due to its temperature and aerial environment conditions while Los Angeles offers PADI Heli-Diver 1 specialty course for those looking for an extreme experience.

Ethan Kelly
Ethan Kelly

Lifelong internet nerd. Hardcore food fan. Devoted burrito ninja. Incurable travel junkie. Beer ninja. Hardcore zombie expert.