LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - All over Arkansas you can find old quarries filled in with water called "blue holes". Their name and appearance may sound inviting, but authorities warn there are numerous risks lurking beneath the surface.
"You gotta use your head. You can't do stupid stuff out here because you can get hurt in a heartbeat," said Lt. Carl Minden of the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department. "They're an attractive swimming location for people. You look at the water. It looks nice and pristine. Most of that's from the chemical elements underneath the water that make it look that way. They're actually very dangerous."
Blue holes can be an easy place to get injured or even killed by debris hidden under the water or shallow areas below cliffs.
"It's a different type of environment. It's not a pool," said Minden. "It almost looks like something out of the ocean, but it's not. It just has that look and, like I said, there's a lot of hidden dangers underneath there besides the fact that a lot of them are full of water moccasins and different things like that."
Many blue holes also get used as dumping grounds for trash, old appliances and even cars.
"They've found all sorts of stuff," Minded added. "If you name something that somebody can throw away, if they can fit it in their car and get it out here, they've found it. Then the worst thing you could possibly find is a human body, and unfortunately, we find those quite a bit. It's not some place that I would choose to go swimming, let's put it that way."
On top of the dangers in and around blue holes, Minden added that the vast majority of them also sit on private land, meaning you could face criminal charges if caught on one. He also said cell phone service can often be spotty at many local blue holes, making it harder to call for help if someone does get injured.