Mariana Trench: Deepest-ever sub dive finds plastic bag


At the deepest point on the planet, Vescovo found what looked like plastic.

But Vescovo and his team are not stopping now, with another dive of the Horizon Deep within the Tonga Trench in the South Pacific Ocean coming up next. It's only fair to assume that undiscovered species and evolution taking its course will unearth new deep-sea life forms in dives like Five Deeps'. "This submarine and its mother ship. took marine technology to a ridiculously higher new level by diving-rapidly and repeatedly-into the deepest, harshest, area of the ocean".

Millions of tonnes of plastic enter the oceans each year, but little is known about where a lot of it ends up.

Sea creatures swim around part of a submersible lander, illuminated by the light of the submarine DSV Limiting Factor on the floor of the Mariana Trench, in a still image from video released by the Discovery Channel.

Among the observations from the dive: A plastic bag and sweet wrappers seen at Earth's deepest spot, four new species (pending scientific analysis), red and yellow rocky outcroppings, and the deepest living fish-the Mariana snailfish seen at 26,247 feet.

As well as the plastic, the team identified at least three new sea animals.

His dive went 16 meters lower than the previous deepest descent in the trench in 1960.

How deep is the Mariana Trench?

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

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"It is nearly indescribable how excited all of us are about achieving what we just did", said Vescovo in a statement emailed to IFLScience.

His record breaks those set by U.S. Navy lieutenant Don Walsh and Swiss engineer Jacques Piccard who touched down on the seafloor at the depth of 10,912 meters in their submersible in the 1960 and movie director James Cameron who reached the same limit in 2012.

Vescovo and his team believe they have discovered four new species of prawn-like crustaceans called amphipods.

From behind the glass of a submersible created to withstand extreme pressures, he spent hours observing and documenting the quiet, dark alien world.

It can withstand the crushing pressure found at the bottom of the ocean: 1,000 bars, which is the equivalent of 50 jumbo jets piled on top of a person.

"This vehicle is effectively a reliable elevator that can transport us to any depth, in any ocean".

The expedition is being filmed for Discovery Channel.

"I was proud and honoured to have been invited to be part of Victor's team when it made world history at Challenger Deep".

When the Five Deeps expedition is complete, the researchers plan to pass their findings onto science institutions, which will continued to use their information for studies.