Breaching the Mariana Trench!

Yesterday, at 5:51pm EST, director James Cameron’s submersible descended 35,756 feet to the deepest part of the ocean…the Mariana Trench. Eight minutes later, in a sign of the times, he tweeted about it:

“Just arrived at the ocean’s deepest pt. Hitting bottom never felt so good. Can’t wait to share what I’m seeing w/ you.” ~ James Cameron

What’s in the Mariana Trench?

That’s some impressive mobile reception! Anyway, Cameron stayed in the Mariana Trench for about three hours and resurfaced at 10pm EST. He didn’t stay as long as expected (he was supposed to be in the Trench for up to six hours). He also suffered at least one equipment-related malfunction – the crashing of the sub’s hydraulic arm. But otherwise, his expedition was a smashing success.

So, what did he see down there? Well, not a whole lot. It turns out the Mariana Trench is extremely isolated and appears devoid of big creatures. However, subsequent dives may change that opinion. In the meantime, here are some select quotes from today’s live press conference, provided by Deep Sea Challenge:

  • “The ocean gave me a choice: you can either make this dream, or you can go to the red carpet premiere of Titanic in London.”
  • “Don Walsh (who reached the Trench in 1960) and I are in a very unique club of two people who has seen what is down there in such a remote place.”
  • “I see this as the beginning of opening up this frontier. Open up to science & understand these deep places.”
  • “I expected life and I found that the life is much smaller. Didn’t see big jellyfish and anemones I saw at the New Britain Trench.”
  • “This is a vast frontier that’s going to take us awhile to understand. It was very lunar, desolated, isolated.”
  • “The bottom of Challenger Deep was featureless. I had this idea that life would adapt, but don’t think we’re seeing that.”
  • “We’re going to do better on the next dive w/ samples. When hydraulic arm crashed, it crashed hard.”

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

So, that’s it for now. Stay tuned…we’ll post the link to the press conference as soon as it’s available. And of course, all of us here at Guerrilla Explorer want to wish a hearty congratulations to James Cameron and the team at Deep Sea Challenge…way to go!

Leave a Comment