World's deepest undersea postbox unveiled in Green Island

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World's deepest undersea postbox unveiled in Green Island

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Taipei, May 4 (CNA) The world's deepest underwater postbox was unveiled Friday in a popular diving area off Green Island as part an effort to attract more tourists to the dive site that is known for its corals and marine life.

The mailbox, shaped in the form of a white seahorse measuring 1.8 meters tall, was installed at a depth of 11 meters in the Shilang Diving Area near the island 33 kilometers off the coast of Taiwan's southeastern Taitung County.

A ceremonial launch was held with Taitung County Magistrate Justin Huang (黃健庭) sending the first symbolic postcard in the water, and he was joined by Ahmed Gabr, an Egyptian scuba diver who holds the Guinness World Records for the deepest scuba dive in sea water.

"We welcome everyone to come and visit the beauty of Shilang, and to experience the rich and diverse marine life here on Green Island," Huang said after getting onshore.

Gabr, who was invited to Taiwan to partake in the event, said he was instantly struck by the sheer beauty of the island's marine ecology, including its pristine waters.

The distinguished diver said he can't wait to help promote and introduce Taitung and Green Island to his friends when he gets back home.

Chiang Hui-ching (江慧卿), head of Taitung County's Tourism Department, said the mailbox represents a Hippocampus colemani, a rare species of seahorse that measures merely 0.7 to 1.9 centimeters in height.

The species was first discovered in waters near Australia in 2001 and then on Green Island in 2007, she said.

According to Chiang, Green Island first used the sea creature as a symbol to promote the outlying island when it was first nominated as one of the top 100 diving destinations in the world by Australia's diving community in 2008.

In 2016, a similar effort was made by a private souvenir shop owner to install an undersea postbox on Green Island at a depth of 13 meters, but it was later removed because it did not receive prior permission from relevant authorities.

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