Mariana Trench: Deepest-ever sub dive finds plastic bag

18 May, 2019, 04:29 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Explorer reaches deepest spot on Earth in historic dive

A diver made the deepest submarine dive by any human in history while exploring the deepest known point in the Earth's hydrosphere, Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench.

Unfortunately, Vescovo also spotted a plastic bag and candy wrappers during his four-hour dive in the Limiting Factor submersible, as previously reported by CNN. With his dive, Victor has become the first person to reach the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean.

Mr Vescovo also saw angular metal or plastic objects, one with writing on it.

Vescovo's dive, in his sub created to withstand the enormous pressure at such depths, was verified to have reached 10,972m, making it the deepest by humans so far.

He is also the first human to make multiple dives, solo, to its hadal depths in the DSV Limiting Factor (Triton 36000/2 model submersible) the world's deepest diving, now operational submarine.

A key mission objective was to capture video evidence of what was at the bottom of the Challenger Deep, which was first explored in 1960. He told BBC News: "I salute Victor Vescovo and his outstanding team for the successful completion of their historic explorations into the Mariana Trench".

"We wanted to prove the capability of the submarine and the whole system by diving there repeatedly and really, hopefully, opening the door for science", Vescovo said.

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The diver spotted candy wrappers and plastic bags lying on the seabed - at almost 11 kilometers of depth.

Technology has changed quite a bit since the Challenger Deep was first explored in 1960 by oceanographers Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard in the submersible Triest.

Prior to Vescovo's monumental dive, only two people had successfully made it to the bottom of Challenger Deep.

The previous record was held by "Titanic" director James Cameron in 2012. Scientists on Vescovo's team plan to conduct tests on some of the creatures to discern the levels of microplastics in their bodies, which could further bolster the claim of the man-made material's presence in the ocean depths. The explorer is part of the Five Deeps Expedition, which aims to reach the bottom of every ocean on the planet.

The waste was never retrieved so it's hard to ever know whether it was indeed a plastic bag, but the discovery may still indicate that all is not well at the bottom of the world's oceans.

A robotic lander photographs the creatures in the deep Mariana Trench and the submersible in the background.

What can you find at the deepest point of the ocean?

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