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James Cameron Hits Rock Bottom

The movie director-turned-explorer made the 6.8-mile drop to the deepest point on the seafloor, but wasn’t too impressed by what he found.

By | March 27, 2012

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, MARK THIESSEN

After directing two films about sunken sea vessels—Titanic and The Abyss—you might think that James Cameron would fear ocean travel. But instead, he took the deepest possible plunge himself. Yesterday (March 25) at around 5 pm EST, Cameron tweeted from the sea floor, “Just arrived at the ocean's deepest pt. Hitting bottom never felt so good.”

Cameron and his team of engineers worked in secret for years to construct a vessel able to withstand the pressure at the sea’s deepest point, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench at 6.8 miles down. The vessel—which Cameron dubbed a “vertical torpedo” that sits upright to shoot down to the seafloor—can only hold one person, making his dive the first one-man mission to the Trench’s depths.

He planned to spend a full 6 hours on the seafloor, collecting samples and filming the trip in 3D for a documentary. However, he wasn’t very impressed with the life forms nearly 7 miles down.

"I didn't feel like I got to a place where I could take interesting geology samples or found anything interesting biologically,” Cameron said after he resurfaced, according to National Geographic. “I had this idea that life would adapt to the deep...but I don't think we're seeing that."

Unfortunately, because of a hydraulics leak and loss of thrusters, he was able to collect  only a partial sediment core sample. The malfunction also forced him to resurface after less than 3 hours—but he plans to do better next time around.

"Next dive," he said. "Gotta leave something for the next one."

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Comments

Avatar of: anonymous_goon

anonymous_goon

Posts: 7

March 28, 2012

Wonder the trick by which 'the Bends / decompression Sickness' is avoided with such rapid resurfacing.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

March 28, 2012

Wonder the trick by which 'the Bends / decompression Sickness' is avoided with such rapid resurfacing.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 12, 2012

Who is he referring to as "we"?  Because he is definitely not a scientist. Is he qualified to say "I don't think that is what we are seeing"? Really, life hasn't adapted to the deep? That's why you are a movie director and not a scientist.
I have many problems with the statement quoted here.  What did he expect to find in his short trip to the bottom of the infinite ocean?

Avatar of: Jacob Campbell

Jacob Campbell

Posts: 1

April 12, 2012

Who is he referring to as "we"?  Because he is definitely not a scientist. Is he qualified to say "I don't think that is what we are seeing"? Really, life hasn't adapted to the deep? That's why you are a movie director and not a scientist.
I have many problems with the statement quoted here.  What did he expect to find in his short trip to the bottom of the infinite ocean?

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