The Most Dangerous SCUBA Dives In The World

What could be more thrilling than diving deep into the ocean among sea creatures and exploring sections of the earth few have seen before?[slideshow:1240]

Well, if you ask some professional divers, there are dives even more thrilling than those with marine life or those that reach the depths of the ocean. There are dives with an added element of danger and mystery so compelling, many will risk their lives for a chance at the challenge.

From New Jersey to Australia, sinkholes, major underwater cave systems and even a military explosives dumping ground await those who dare to dive. Many have attempted these excursions and, sadly, some didn't make it back alive. These are the most dangerous SCUBA dives in the world.

Editor's Note: These dives are remote, extremely dangerous and for experts only. For that reason, we urge readers not to attempt these dives without extensive training and a qualified partner.

Jacob's Well—Wimberley, Texas

This southern swimming hole is a lot more sinister than it appears. Jacob's Well in Texas gives way to an intricate underwater cave system, comprised of several chambers. Some of the narrow tunnels are lined with silt, which can stir and cloud the entire area. The cloudy water causes divers to become disoriented, panic and use up oxygen more quickly. The caves in Jacob's Well have reportedly taken at least eight lives.

Egypt's Blue Hole—Dahab and Sinai, Egypt

Nicknamed the "Diver's Cemetery," this submarine sinkhole may very well be the most dangerous SCUBA site on earth. The big attraction for daring divers is "the arch," a passageway to open water set 184 feet down. It's recommended that recreational divers stay above 131 feet, which makes the arch an extremely dangerous feat. When divers reach such great depths, nitrogen narcosis can alter judgment, cause disorientation and even result in loss of consciousness. In this case, many divers are affected and miss the opening of the arch, continuing to descend to their death.

It's estimated somewhere between 130 and 200 divers have lost their lives attempting this challenge in the last 15 years. The hole is littered with dive gear and plagued by dead bodies. The nearby beach looks eerily like a graveyard, full of stones commemorating some of those lost in the hole.