American diver Victor Vescovo descended nearly 7 miles into the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench, breaking the world record for the deepest ocean dive in history.
Vescovo, a private equity investor who climbed the world’s highest peaks before taking on the worlds deepest ocean depths, funded the diving expedition into the Mariana Trench himself, according to the BBC. The Mariana Trench is located in the western Pacific Ocean and is the deepest natural trench in the world.
Humans have reached the ocean's extreme depths for the 3d time, nearly 11km (seven miles) down the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. There were sea creatures, but a plastic bag and sweet wrappers were also foundpic.twitter.com/QOqd3fVQMB
— Alfons López Tena #FBPE (@alfonslopeztena) May 13, 2019
U.S. Navy officer Don Walsh and Swiss engineer Jacques Piccard were the first to dive into the Mariana Trench in 1960. Film director James Cameron also made a second dive into the trench 2012. Vescovo’s recent dive broke the record for the deepest decent into the world’s oceans, reaching a depth of 35,849 ft and beating the previous record by 36 feet.
“It is almost indescribable how excited all of us are about achieving what we just did,” Vescovo told the BBC.
“This submarine and its mother ship, along with its extraordinarily talented expedition team, took marine technology to a ridiculously higher new level by diving – rapidly and repeatedly – into the deepest, harshest, area of the ocean,” he continued.
Vescovo’s team made a total of five dives into the trench over the course of the expedition, during which the team reportedly may have discovered four never-before-seen species of amphipods. The team also discovered brightly colored rocks on the sea floor, potentially formed by microbes, the BBC reports.
The team also reportedly found a plastic bag and several candy wrappers. Scientist now plan to test the creatures they found for the presence of micro-plastics in their anatomies.
The dive was part of the The Five Deeps Expedition, a project sponsored by Caladan Oceanic, a private marine-technology development company owned by Vescovo, attempting to explore the deepest regions of each of the world’s five oceans, according to The Five Deeps Expedition’s website.
The Five Deeps Expedition uses a submarine named the DSV Limiting Factor, which is capable of withstanding 1,000 bars of pressure and is built with titanium walls.
The expedition has explored the deepest points of four of the five oceans so far, leaving only the Arctic Ocean’s Molloy Deep, exploration of which is scheduled for August 2019.
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