In deepest-ever submarine dive, explorer finds trash on ocean floor

Eloise Marshall
May 18, 2019

An American man by the name of Victor Vescovo has descended to the deepest point in the ocean, ever reached by a human being.

The Five Deeps dive to Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean broke a new record.

He spent four hours exploring the bottom of the trench in his submersible, built to withstand the vast pressure of the deep. The team also discovered brightly colored rocks on the sea floor, potentially formed by microbes, the BBC reports.

After spending hours crisscrossing the bottom of the Challenger Deep, collecting video evidence of different wildlife, geological formations and man-made objects, Vescovo stopped for a second.

Last month's groundbreaking mission was filmed as part of an upcoming Discovery Channel documentary series that will chronicle Vescovo's trips to the furthest parts of the world's waters - the Atlantic Ocean, the Southern Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the Arctic Ocean.

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"Honestly, toward the end, I simply turned the thrusters off, leaned back in the cockpit and enjoyed a tuna fish sandwich while I very slowly drifted just above the bottom of the deepest place on Earth, enjoying the view and appreciating what the team had done technically", Vescovo said. "This submarine and its mother ship. took marine technology to a ridiculously higher new level by diving-rapidly and repeatedly-into the deepest, harshest, area of the ocean". "We feel like we have just created, validated, and opened a powerful door to discover and visit any place, any time, in the ocean - which is 90% unexplored". Before Cameron, the US Navy vessel Trieste took Lieutenant Don Walsh and Swiss scientist Jacques Piccard down to 10,912 metres. It can carry two passengers to depths of 11,000 meters (36,000 feet) for more than 16 hours. Humans have only previously been to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, but no manned submersible had ever been to Challenger Deep a few times.

The Tonga Trench was previously measured at 10,882 metres deep and is known as the second-deepest ocean trench in the world after the Marina Trench.

Cameron told him he'd be busy, of course, but noted that "few if any people have seen what you've seen" so "deeply appreciate how fortunate you are to see it, '" Vescovo recalled in an interview.

"It has been a monumental week for ocean exploration; we have broken world records and achieved a number of world firsts".

Mr Vescovo's latest dive is part of the "Five Deeps expedition", where he is attempting to explore the deepest parts of all five oceans.

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