Mariana Trench: Record-breaking journey to the bottom of the ocean

Deepest ever dive finds plastic bag at bottom of Mariana Trench

Deepest ever dive finds plastic bag at bottom of Mariana Trench

"I criss-crossed all over the bottom looking for different wildlife, potentially unique geological formations or rocks, man-made objects, and yes, trying to see if there was an even deeper location than where the Trieste went all the way back in 1960", Vescovo says.

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

After Vescovo's record-breaking dive, other team members took four other subsequent dives to the trench.

The scientific team identified at least three new species of marine animal during this dive series, including a type of long-appendaged Amphipod, at the bottom of the Challenger Deep.

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 descended almost 35,849 feet down where he found "manmade material" on the ocean's floor that he is "working to confirm is plastic", Stephanie Fitzherbert, a spokeswoman for his expedition, told The Guardian.

Victor Vescovo and his submarine "The Limiting Factor" are recovered after completing the deepest dive in history.

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It's not the first time plastic has been found at the bottom of the sea, but it's a reminder of the scale of the problem. The last time Challenger Deep had a human visitor was in 2012, when Titanic filmmaker James Cameron set the previous record of 10,908 meters aboard his submersible, Deepsea Challenger. He spent four hours exploring the deepest known area of the planet's seabed in a $48 million submersible - a small watercraft built to withstand the extreme pressure of the deep waters.

Dr. Alan Jamieson, the expedition's chief scientist, stands on top of the submersible the Limiting Factor, which plumbed the depths of the Mariana Trench on missions between April 28 and May 5, 2019.

The dive forms part of the Five Deeps expedition - an attempt to explore the deepest points in each of the world's five oceans.

"So far, we've made up something like 150,000 square kilometers of deep sea floor now - and we're only halfway through it". Over the past six months, Vescovo's expedition conducted dives in the Puerto Rico Trench in the Atlantic Ocean, the South Sandwich Trench in the Southern Ocean and the Java Trench in Indian Ocean.

Vescovo's next challenge is to reach the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, which he plans to do in August.

Vescovo's journey was filmed for Discovery Channel and has been dubbed the "Five Deeps Expedition".

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