Deepest ever dive finds plastic bag at bottom of Mariana Trench

Pablo Tucker
May 15, 2019

Victor Vescovo descended almost 11km to the deepest place in the ocean - the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench.

Vescovo, who funded the expedition, said his team found four new species of prawn-like crustaceans called amphipods, and saw a spoon worm and a pink snailfish, BBC reported.

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.

They also discovered brightly coloured rocky outcrops, possibly created by microbes on the seabed, and collected samples of rock from the seafloor.

"It is nearly indescribable how excited all of us are about achieving what we just did", Mr Vescovo said after arriving in Guam after the completion of the dives.

He explained the expedition "took marine technology to a ridiculously higher new level by diving - rapidly and repeatedly - into the deepest, harshest, area of the ocean".

"There were some small, translucent animals", gently moving about, Vescovo said. The dive was made in a submarine, plunging 36,000ft down to the sea floor into the world famous Mariana Trench, a whole 53ft lower than the previous descent in 1960. Humanity's waste had reached the deepest parts of the sea floor.

There are now at least five giant garbage patches located in the North Atlantic, the South Atlantic, the North Pacific, the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean. Sitting there in the deepest point of the planet, Vescovo also came across a plastic bag and candy wrappers.

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

It's the deepest place in the ocean.

Before Cameron's dive, the first-ever expedition to Challenger Deep was made by the US Navy in 1960, reaching a depth of 10,912 meters.

In the recent dive, Walsh accompanied a team up above on the ship, as Vescovo descended alone in a submersible called the DSV Limiting Factor.

What's more shocking in the report is the epidemic proportions of plastic in the world's oceans, with an estimated 100 million tonnes dumped there to date.

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

What can you find at the deepest point of the ocean?

A technician checks the DSV Limiting Factor aboard the research vessel DSSV Pressure Drop above the Mariana Trench in an undated photo released by the Discovery Channel.

After the Five Deeps expedition is complete later this year, the plan is to pass the submersible onto science institutions so researchers can continue to use it.

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