'Hard to believe': Incredible Great Barrier Reef 'hole' discovered on Google Maps

A marine biologist with a penchant for searching Google Maps has come across an amazing discovery about the Great Barrier Reef.

Johnny Gaskell discovered a stunning "Blue Hole" in the middle of the reef while he was doing some internet research.

The 'Blue Hole' discovered in The Great Barrier Reef. Source/@johnny_gaskell

A blue hole is an underwater sinkhole created by the erosion of carbonate rocks and, as its title suggests, appears as a deep blue circle of water.

Gaskell posted footage of the area to his Instagram account, @johnny_gaskell, writing: "After spotting this deep blue hole on google maps we decided to head far offshore, out further than our normal Reef trips to see what dwelled within."

The marine biologist and his team ventured further out than previous trips. Source:/@johnny_gaskell
Snorkelling down to see

"What we found inside was hard to believe considering 5 months ago a Cat 4 cyclone went straight over the top of it.

"At around 15m - 20m deep there was huge Birdsnest Corals (Seriatopora) and super elongated Staghorn Corals (Acropora) both of which were among the biggest and most delicate colonies I've ever seen.

Gaskell captured incredible pictures of coral. Source/@johnny_gaskell
The coral has been protected by lagoon walls and withstood recent cyclones. Source/@johnny_gaskell

"Totally unaffected by the cyclone."

Gaskell, who is a Whitsundays local, said the positioning of the deep hole within lagoon walls had protected its coral for decades.

Gaskell says his team may have been the first to explore this part of the Reef. Source/@johnny_gaskell

"We may very well be the first to ever dive Gaskell's Blue Hole, as it was so far offshore and hidden deep within one of the Great Barrier Reef's biggest lagoons," he writes.

His footage reveals a beautiful, colourful wonderland of coral and underwater life.

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