Fact ChecksHeadline

Does the Photo Show the Mariana Trench?


  • The location in the photo is not the Mariana Trench, but an underwater sinkhole in the Belize Barrier Reef system.
  • The sinkhole is part of the Belize Barrier Reef protection system, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There are some photos on the Internet that have become quite symbolic. You must have heard of the Mariana Trench, which is located in the Pacific Ocean and is the deepest point in the world. In fact, you have seen the photograph of the pit, which is about 11 km deep above sea level.

Photo Used with “Mariana Trench” Title

So, does this photo that we come across for years really belongs to the Marina Trench? Does this dark circle show the deepest point on earth?

We researched this.

Does the Photo Show the World’s Deepest Point, the Mariana Trench?

This photo has been shared with the caption “Mariana Trench” almost since the advent of the internet… But is this really this creepy place that looks like it’s going to the other side of the world?

To examine this, we resort to our best-working method: Reverse image search…

We are looking for our photo on TinEye and we come across some information. On Alamy, which is a stock image upload site, we can access information such as where the photo is shown and who recorded it.

Belize Coral Reef Set – Alamy

Accordingly, the photo shows Belize in Central America. This black dark circle is also a coral reef set.

The coral reef is actually a big sinkhole that emerged in the sea… Wikipedia has the following information about this “Great Blue Hole”:

Source: Wikipedia

The Great Blue Hole is a giant marine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 km (43 mi) from the mainland and Belize City. The hole is circular in shape, 318 m (1,043 ft) across, and 124 m (407 ft) deep. It has a surface area of 70,650 square meters (760,500 sq ft). It was formed during several episodes of quaternary glaciation when sea levels were much lower. Analysis of stalactites found in the Great Blue Hole shows that formation took place 153,000, 66,000, 60,000, and 15,000 years ago. As the ocean began to rise again, the cave was flooded. The Great Blue Hole is a part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As a result, we come to the conclusion that this big blue pit is not the Marina Trench. This place off Belize is a coral reef. We also view this location on Google Earth and confirm this information.

“Great Blue Hole” in the Belize Barrier Reef system – Google Earth image.

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