Award winning film director, James Cameron, took an incredible voyage to the deepest point on earth, the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep. Such a journey hasn’t been taken in 50 years when two men explored the trench for a period of 20 minutes. The dive was a joint effort between Cameron and National Geographic. Below is a brief video describing what Cameron saw and a glimpse of exciting things to come.
Cameron took the journey in a torpedo shaped sub he helped design called the DeepSea Challenger. In it he descended to unimaginable depths nearly 7 miles deep. He hoped to see new life adapted to life in the deep. What he saw was more like a barren wasteland. According to National Geographic Cameron said, “The impression to me was it’s very lunar, very isolated. I felt as if, in the space of one day, I’d gone to another planet and come back.”
Cameron hoped to explore the depths for six hours but unfortunately a hydraulic leak, which impeded his view from the sub’s window, cut the trip down to about two hours. The hydraulic leak prevented him from collecting any biological samples but he was able to get a partial sediment core sample. Scientists are hoping the partial samples might reveal some new life previously unknown to man.
Though the trip was cut short, Cameron seemed upbeat about the whole thing. He emphasized that the sub is a “prototype” and that there are things that need to be ironed out. He stated, “The important thing is that we have a vehicle that’s a robust platform—it gets us there safely, the lights work, the cameras work, and hopefully next time the hydraulics will work.”
It is fascinating to see to footage coming back from this trip even if it is a little lifeless. It just shows you how much more of our world there is left to explore. Cameron plans to make more dives in the coming weeks and hopefully will be able to capture 3-D footage from the ocean deep.
If you would like to read more about this expedition visit National Geographic’s website at http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/03/120326-james-cameron-mariana-trench-challenger-deepest-lunar-sub-science/.