Mariana Trench submarine dive finds manmade rubbish at sea's deepest point

Mariana Trench submarine dive finds manmade rubbish at sea's deepest point

As part of the Five Deeps Expedition, Texas businessman turned ocean explorer Victor Vescovo dove 10,927 meters (35,853 feet) to the bottom of Challenger deep at the southern end of the Mariana Trench.

Victor Vescovo, a pro diver and member of the Deep Five Explorations team, has become the first man to completed a version of the "Four Corners of the Earth": trek the Mt Everest, dive the Challenger Deep, and ski on both the geographic poles. More worrisome was that Vescovo reported coming across a plastic bag and candy wrappers.

The expedition reached a maximum depth of 10,928 meters into the Trench.

The expedition has made four dives in the Mariana Trench in the last three weeks to collect biological and rock samples.

The second dive was made by Titanic and Avatar Director James Cameron in 2012.

Before Cameron's dive, the first-ever expedition to Challenger Deep was made in 1960 by the U.S. Navy, which reached a depth of 10,912 metres. "I feel so fortunate to have had the means, been able to assemble such a great technical team, and work with others on the expedition to make it all a reality". Robotic landers were also deployed to explore the remote terrain.

"It's nearly indescribable how excited all of us are about achieving what we just did", Vescovo said.

"Maybe I felt much more like Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard".

"Now in the winter of my life, it was a great honour to be invited on this expedition to a place of my youth".

Discoveries in the Challenge Deep included "vibrantly colorful" rocky outcrops that could be chemical deposits, prawn-like supergiant amphopods, and bottom-dwelling Holothurians, or sea cucumbers. They reportedly discovered human-made objects on the ocean's floor, like plastic objects and angular metals, and undiscovered marine species.

While discovering plastic in the ocean's depths isn't new, scientists will now begin testing the creatures collected to see if they contain microplastics. Its mission is to chart and conduct detailed sonar mapping at the five deepest places in the ocean: the Puerto Rico Trench (Atlantic Ocean), the South Sandwich Trench (South Atlantic), the Java Trench (Indian Ocean) and Molloy Deep (Arctic Ocean), according to CNN. Once he finishes his last dive in August, he will be the only person to ever summit the highest mountain on each continent and go to the lowest point of each ocean.

In the recent dive, Walsh accompanied a team up above on the ship, as Vescovo descended alone in a submersible called the DSV Limiting Factor.

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