Return to Challenger Deep

Last Sunday, film director James Cameron became just the third person to go to the deepest part of the ocean, in the region known as Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench. He did this in an updated version of the 1960 expedition to the same spot in the bathyscaphe Trieste.

Here is a video of the preparations for the event.

I am really looking forward to seeing the video of what the bottom of the ocean looks like. Here is a nice graphic of what we think we will see as we go deep.

Because the latest descent and ascent took much less time than the earlier one, Cameron was able to spend hours wandering around the ocean floor, observing and collecting samples. The 1960 expedition could not bring back photos because of the silt that had been stirred by the vessel, and it did not have the kinds of high-tech gadgetry that Cameron had. It is felt that the pressure at such depths is so great that vertebrate life such as fish cannot survive.

But nature has a way of providing surprises, which is why science is so eternally enthralling.


  1. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    The Three Rules of Submarining

    1. Ensure the number of surfaces equals the number of dives.

    2. Keep people out of the water tanks and water out of the people tank.

    3. Remember that your submarine was built by the lowest bidder.

  2. says

    Actually, since Cameron is not a government entity, he probably didn’t go with the lowest bid. If I had that sort of money, I sure wouldn’t.

  3. F says

    Yes, I await the reports on the samples and any videography with anticipation. The live Tweets just were not all that informative or interesting, although the folks at Deep Sea News seemed to enjoy them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *