EYOS Expeditions' Five Deeps mission successfully dives to deepest point on Earth

Pablo Tucker
May 18, 2019

His voyage took place in a submarine called The Limiting Factor, which is how Mr Vescovo is able to explore some of the most remote places on the planet.

"This submarine and its mother ship, along with its extraordinarily talented expedition team, took marine technology to a ridiculously higher new level by diving - rapidly and repeatedly - into the deepest, harshest, area of the ocean".

"Vescovo's discovery of plastic in the deepest part of the ocean is disturbing but not surprising because plastic is found throughout the water column in our oceans", he said in a statement.

Don Walsh (left), who dived to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in 1960 with the US Navy, congratulates Victor Vescovo (right) on setting a new dive record.

An American diver set a new record for the deepest dive in history last month when he plunged almost 36,000 feet.

The American explorer found human-made objects that are speculated to be plastic in the deepest natural trench.


These conditions also made it challenging to capture footage - the Five Deeps expedition has been followed by Atlantic Productions for a documentary for the Discovery Channel.

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.

Due to the small difference in measured depths between the Challenger and Horizon Deeps, Vescovo and team plan to find out once and for all if the Tonga Trench is actually deeper than the Mariana Trench. Titanic director and frequent diver James Cameron set the previous record in 2012.

Vescovo's dive was the first out of four dives carried out in the deep-sea pocket, known as Challenger Deep, over three weeks, starting in late April.

During his four-hour trek across the ocean floor, Vescovo relished in his once-in-a-lifetime achievement.

In the next step, the team said its scientists were going to perform tests on the creatures found to in order to have a clear picture about the percentage of plastics found in them.


Before now, the Five Deeps Expedition surveyed the Puerto Rico Trench in the Atlantic Ocean, and the South Sandwich and Java Trenches in the Indian Ocean.

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. 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.

Vescovo told Discovery that finding new species with each dive isn't all that surprising either.

In the May/June issue of Hydro International we'll publish an article about the Five Deeps Expedition.

A robotic lander photographs the creatures in the deep Mariana Trench and the submersible in the background.


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