Temple of Doom (Palau — 110 fsw)

Temple of Doom is a cave that is within the “Blue Holes” site on the outer reef in Palau. You first enter one of the blue holes and then there is an almost hidden entrance into the cave. You would probably never know it was there unless somebody pointed it out to you.

The Blue Holes site is another one of those interesting geographies where erosion created holes in the limestone.

Below is a picture from the FishNFins website that show the four entrances to the main chamber below. All four of the entrances merge into a single big chamber that has two exits out onto the wall. This dive site is very close to the world famous “Blue Corner” site and, depending upon currents, divers sometimes start the dive in through the hole and exit out onto the wall.

Blue Hole Dive Site (Photo from Fish ‘N Fins website)

I also found very interesting website, AirPano, that has 360 degree panoramic views of different locations, including the Blue Hole. Below is a photo/graphic that shows the different entrances to the main chamber for Blue Holes and also a sense of where the entry to Temple of Doom is.

Photo from AirPano

We started the dive by going down one of the holes and dropping a spare bottle of Nitrox just inside the entrance.

The cave does have a line inside leading to the back of the cave. It is a relatively large main hall inside the cave. The top of the cave is about 60 feet deep and the bottom is about 130 feet deep.

Inside there are some remains of turtles. Since you drop down once you enter the cave, the exit is above you and not always obvious where it is. It is unknown if the turtles wandered it and couldn’t get out for air or what happened to them.

Swimming into the main chamber

There are at least two turtle skeletons. At some point, somebody moved the head from one of them to a tabletop plateau near the back of the cave.

Here is the second turtle site along with the head that has been moved to the top of the plateau:

After swimming around a bit, we made our way back out to the exit. You can see that it is above the line and above the rest of the cave which is why it can be hard to locate if you don’t have the line or if you get disoriented. Also note that in the photo, you can see another exit/entrance blue spot off to the right. I’ve heard that you can get in/out of there but it is pretty tight.

You exit back out into the main chamber of Blue Holes where the four exits are up and there are two exits out onto the wall. Here are some photos looking out the exits.

We exited out onto the wall and continued our dive in a mild current and ran into a turtle who was “scratching his back” on some coral and had luckily not wandered into the Temple of Doom!


FishNFins website

AirPano website

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