Co-founder of OceanGate, company that launched imploded Titanic submersible, plans 'portal to hell' mission

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OceanGate’s co-founder prepares to go where no human has gone before a year after five people died when the company’s submersible imploded on its way down to the Titanic.

Co-founder Guillermo Söhnlein, who runs Blue Marble Exploration, will send a submarine down a 663-foot, underwater sinkhole that completely surrounds the Bahamas.

That drop is a scientific estimate, as no human has ever reached the bottom, Popular Mechanics reported

“The Sapphire Abyss expedition … is poised to revolutionize our understanding of one of the world’s most mesmerizing underwater caverns,” Blue Marble Exploration’s website says. 


OceanGate Submarine

OceanGate submarine dives underwater. The company’s co-founder is planning an underwater expedition in the Bahamas. (YouTube/screenshot-OceanGate)

Officially known as Dean’s Blue Hole after a Bahamian fisherman, the cavernous crater has seduced risk-taking divers to reach its bottom. 

However, all have died trying, including an American in 2013, according to Popular Mechanics. 

Because of its size, unknowns and unforgiving nature, the geographical phenomena morphed into fabled lore about the devil himself living at the bottom of the hole. 


Others believe it leads directly to hell, hence the nickname “Portal to Hell.”

“In the first comprehensive scientific survey of the area, our scientists will tap cutting-edge underwater ROV technology to remotely venture into some of Earth’s least hospitable conditions in search of unprecedented findings,” the website says.

Officially known as Dean's Blue Hole after a Bahamian fisherman, the "Portal to Hell" is estimated to be 663-foot underwater sinkhole.

Officially known as Dean’s Blue Hole after a Bahamian fisherman, the “Portal to Hell” is estimated to be a 663-foot underwater sinkhole. (Google Street View)

Unlike the fatal disaster mission to the Titanic, which is 12,500 feet below the surface, this mission will be carried out solely by professionals and will not include tourists, Söhnlein told The Independent.

The goal of the mission down the “Portal of Hell” is “to unlock new knowledge about marine ecosystems, Earth’s ancient climate and potentially reveal undiscovered species,” Blue Marble Exploration’s site says.

No human has reached the bottom of the "Portal to Hell," an underwater sinkhole that surrounds the Bahamas.

No human has reached the bottom of the “Portal to Hell,” an underwater sinkhole that surrounds the Bahamas. (Google Street View)

“Dean’s Blue Hole remains virtually unexplored,” the site says, which makes it an “ideal location” for potential scientific discovery. 

“This expedition offers a rare opportunity for investors to support pioneering research that could yield transformative insights and global environmental benefits.”

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