A fascinating expedition which aimed to explore the depths of the five oceans has managed to set a new milestone after it reached the deepest area of the Mariana Trench, located in the Pacific Ocean. On the downside, the exploration mission revealed that plastic waste managed to arrive on the bottom of the Mariana Trench, too.
One of the researchers dove to a depth of 10,927 meters (or 35,853 feet), aiming to reach the bottom of the Challenger Deep which is located near the southern border of the Mariana Trench. That was the first attempt since 2012 when the iconic director James Cameron managed to establish the previous record of 10,908 with the help of a submersible called Deepsea Challenger.
The experience was described as being incredible. The submarine and the mother ship backed an extraordinary team, managed to take marine biology to a new level by completing several dives into the most dangerous and unknown areas of the ocean, the one environment which remains mostly unexplored.
Plastic Waste on the Bottom of the Mariana Trench, Found by Explorers
The Challenger Deep was explored for the first time in 1960 by a team of oceanographers. Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh completed the mission with the help of a submersible called Triest. Since then technology has progressed dramatically. DSV Limiting Factor, the submersible used during the mission, was able to perform several dives to the bottom of the Challenger Deep.
The submersible was built with high-quality thick titanium pressure hulls, which can withstand the incredible pressure of the deep. Four dives were performed within eight days, making DSV Limiting Factor the first submersible to reach the bottom more than once.
The team has managed to discover a minimum number of three new species. Sadly, a rather disheartening discovery was also made when they managed to spot what seemed to be a plastic waste, in the form of a plastic bag and several candy wrappers. It is difficult to prove that the objects were, in fact, plastic waste. A set of images which showcase impressive vistas has been shared online.
Sam is a freelance writer who has experience writing in the digital world for 4 years after he quit his job. Sam’s interests in current world affairs gave him the drive to pursue a career in journalism. Sam originates from Russia, lived in Canada for a short time between 2011 and 2013, then moved to New York to pursue his career.