James Cameron Ocean Floor
March 28, 2012 by staff
James Cameron Ocean Floor, On his submarine plunge to the ocean’s deepest trench, celebrated filmmaker and ocean explorer James Cameron, director of Titanic and Avatar, says he found “another world” — vast, flat and desolate.
Cameron spoke Monday after completing Sunday’s five-hour trip to the ocean floor in an innovative, torpedo-shaped submersible, the Deepsea Challenger. It marked the first visit a human has made to the deepest part of the Mariana Trench — nearly seven miles down — since the original one, by the U.S. Navy’s Trieste submersible, in 1960.
“When I came down, I landed, it was a very soft, almost gelatinous, flat plain,” Cameron says, with deep-sea shrimp as the only signs of life. Culminating a seven-year project, Cameron made the descent crouching in a 43-inch-wide steel ball within the 24-foot-tall submersible. “My feeling was one of almost complete isolation from all of humanity.”
After landing, Cameron’s three-hour tour of of the Challenger Deep undersea canyon — a seven-mile-long and one-mile-wide groove in the floor of the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench — was interrupted by a loss of hydraulic fluid powering his sub’s manipulator arm. That prevented the collection of rocks or creatures from the seafloor and led to his return to the surface.
“Humans are explorers, and there is something in this kind of visit to a distant and dangerous place that really brings that home,” says Andrew Bowen of Woods Hole (Mass.) Oceanographic Institution, who led a 2009 robot submarine effort, the Nereus, that also explored the undersea canyon. “This visit underscores how much exploration remains for humanity in the deep ocean.”
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