For scuba divers, the best places on Earth are the ones covered with water. It’s so exciting to discover colorful reefs, haunting wrecks, and unusual animals, and scuba diving is probably the best way to do it. If you’re looking for new and unexpected places to blow bubbles, these incredible spots will blow your mind. It was really hard to narrow this list down to eight, but feel free to add to it after reading through.
1. SS ThistlegormThere’s a reason why the SS Thistlegorm, located in Egypt’s Red Sea, is the most popular wreck diving spot in the world. At close to 420 feet long, the British transport ship was attacked and sunk in 1941. Today, the ship sits at the bottom of the sea, the gaping hole caused by the German bomb that struck it acting as a window to the ship’s soul. Bring a flashlight, and you’ll be able to see the rusted motorcycles, machine guns, torpedoes, and military equipment that went down with the ship.
2. Barracuda PointLocated off Sipadan Island in Malaysia, the aptly named Barracuda can be at once an intimidating and awe-inspiring experience. You won’t find this kind of aquatic traffic jam anywhere else, and the chaotic experience can be likened to the streets of Tokyo – underwater. Barracudas, hammerhead sharks and giant rays bustle along on their way, accompanied by swirling balls of jackfish and enormous sea turtles.
3. The Great Blue HoleBelize’s Great Blue Hole is not for novice divers. Created during the last ice age, the gaping hole is nearly 1,000 feet wide and an awe-inspiring 400 plus feet wide. If you’re experienced (and brave) enough to explore it, though, you’ll be rewarded with a view of some amazing stalagmites and stalactites, as well as unusual marine life and limestone formations.
4. Sistema Dos OjosMexico’s stunning Playa del Carmen is where you’ll find the eerily beautiful Sistema Dos Ojos. A nearly 50-mile long freshwater cave, Dos Ojos is comprised of passages and rooms with fun names like the Bat Cave and Jill’s Room. Each section offers a fascinating look at marine life. There’s a reason more than 100 people dive here every single day.
More: 10 Most Gorgeous Islands in the World
5. Gordon RocksEcuador’s Galapagos Islands have long been the destination for science and nature lovers. If you’re experienced enough to handle a strong current, you’ll be rewarded with sea lions, hammerhead sharks, seals, manta rays and moray eels headed in your direction. It’s a once in a lifetime experience, and one that every veteran diver dreams of.
6. Point Murat Navy PierAustralia is home to one of the select manmade dive sites in the world worth traveling to. Here, you’ll find intriguing octopi, oddly patterned Wobbegong sharks, scorpionfish, schools of barracuda, lionfish and much more. Each year the 300 meters long Navy Pier attracts thousands of divers from all over the world.
7. Silfra PinvellirIf you want to dive between two continents, Iceland is the only place to do it. On the cold side, this incredible spot may look like an ordinary lake from the surface. But once you’re underwater, you’ll see the chasm where two tectonic plates meet. Melting glacier water makes for some of the best visibility anywhere.
8. Kailua Kona
For a unique and memorable dive, head over to Hawaii’s Kailua Kona. You will experience underwater lights that attract the kind of phytoplankton that giant manta rays love to munch on. Bring your best flashlight to watch these gentle giants weighing in at up to 3,000 pounds eat and play.
More: 5 Best Places to Scuba Dive in the Atlantic Ocean
So, there you have it! Some of the best scuba sites to visit this year. The underwater life has always been fascinating and mysterious to people, so it’s no wonder why so many are eager to master diving skills. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this and let me know what your favorite scuba dive destinations are.