James Cameron, he of blockbuster film fame, has broken a world record after completing the deepest ocean dive ever performed.
In his one-man custom built submarine, Deepsea Challenger, James Cameron plunged the depths of the Mariana Trench, a staggering 7 miles deep (11km). He is only the third man to have gone that deep, after US Navy Lt Don Walsh and Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard spent about 20 minutes on the ocean floor in 1960, although they didn’t get any recordings. Cameron, however, spent over four hours exploring, recording the whole ordeal in 3D, and collecting samples from the ocean floor for analysis. Why did he do this? Dreams, curiosity, and science.
“I’ve always dreamed of diving to the deepest place in the oceans. For me it went from a boyhood fantasy to a real quest, like climbing Everest, as I learned more about deep-ocean exploration and became an explorer myself in real life. This quest was not driven by the need to set records, but by the same force that drives all science and exploration … curiosity. So little is known about these deep places that I knew I would see things no human has ever seen. There is currently no submersible on Earth capable of diving to the ‘full ocean depth’ of 36,000 feet. The only way to make my dream a reality was to build a new vehicle unlike any in current existence. Our success during seven prior expeditions building and operating our own deep-ocean vehicles, cameras, and lighting systems gave me confidence that such a vehicle could be built, and not just with the vast resources of government programs, but also with a small entrepreneurial team. It took more than seven years to design and build the vehicle, and it is still a work in progress. Every dive teaches us more, and we are continuing to improve the sub and its systems daily, as we move through our sea trials.” James Cameron
Truly impressive. Onwards!