“It was a very lunar, desolate place, very isolated. My feeling was one of complete isolation from all of humanity.”
That’s how James Cameron described the bottom of the ocean. Today, the first video from his impressive expedition lands and it shows that the bottom of the Mariana Trench is exactly how he describes it – desolate.
On Sunday, Cameron took his Deepsea Challenger sub down nearly seven miles, to the lowest point in the ocean. This point, called the Challenger Deep, is at the bottom of the Mariana Trench – a giant split in the Earth’s crust that’s located in the western Pacific Ocean. The Mariana Trench is over 1,500 miles long and over 43 miles wide.
“Any of the animals that live there are adapted to the extreme pressure, this total darkness. They’re usually white, they have no pigment – some of them have eyes to see bioluminescence, some of them have no eyes at all. It’s a completely alien world,” said Cameron.
The pressure he’s talking about: Eight tons per square inch, or about 1,000 times the pressure at sea level.
Cameron was the first to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench in over 50 years, and the first ever to do it solo.
If you took Mount Everest and shoved the entire thing into the Mariana Trench, you’d still have to plunge over a mile down before you even hit the peak. James Cameron took a sub there, and you can check it out below:
Cameron spent around three hours down there, talking video and collecting samples. So there will definitely be more to come from this voyage.