Deepest underwater dive in human history finds plastic on ocean floor

Rodiano Bonacci
Mag 15, 2019

Victor Vescovo, a retired naval officer, said he made the unsettling discovery as he descended almost 10,928 metres (more than 10 kilometres) to a point in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench - the deepest place on Earth.

Businessman Victor Vescovo broke the record for deepest dive ever by reaching the bottom of the Marianna Trench.

Sir David Attenborough, a naturalist and wildlife campaigner, reacted to Vescovo's unsavory find at the bottom of the Mariana Trench by calling plastic in the sea an "unfolding catastrophe" that we "ignore at our peril".

One of the new species captured on camera during the dive to the Mariana Trench. Titanic director and frequent diver James Cameron set the previous record in 2012.

The dive was later verified to be 10,972m and Victor became the first person to reach the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean. Vescovo is a Dallas-based co-founder of Insight Equity Holdings, a private equity fund, who is financing the Five Deeps Expedition as an attempt to explore the deepest points in each of the world's five oceans, BBC News reported.

Robotic landers were also deployed for further analysis of the seafloor.

"It is nearly indescribable how excited all of us are about achieving what we just did", Vescovo said. It's part of the Five Deeps Expedition, which is charting the ocean's five deepest areas.

A key mission objective was to capture video evidence of what was at the bottom of the Challenger Deep, which was first explored in 1960 by oceanographers Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard in submersible called Bathyscaphe Trieste.

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

In the depths, during those five dives, they discovered red and yellow rocky outcrops that could be chemical deposits or bacterial mats, which are made by chemosynthetic microbes, meaning they can convert carbon-containing molecules into organic matter.

In an editorial for The i newspaper, Attenborough wrote, "I have seen for myself the effects of plastic pollution on some of our planet's most precious species and natural places-an unfolding catastrophe that has been overlooked for too long".

Vescovo made multiple trips through the trench.

The Five Deeps Expedition is being filmed for a five-part Discovery Channel documentary series due to air in late 2019.

He's also been to the highest peak of every continent and to the bottom of four of the world's oceans.

How deep is the Mariana Trench?

"Personally being able to make the dive was just absolutely exhilarating", Vescovo told ABC News.

As well as working under pressure, the sub has to operate in the pitch black and near freezing temperatures. Atlantic Productions for Discovery Channel/Handout via REUTERS.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE