Record breaking deep-sea dive reveals plastic waste

Record breaking deep-sea dive reveals plastic waste

The Mariana Trench is known to be the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean. This is where Victor Vescovo broke the record for the deepest dive, reaching just shy of seven miles. Operating a submersible made to withstand the incredible pressure of the ocean deep, Vescovo’s team made five dives where they assume to have uncovered four new species of crustaceans, as well as a pink snailfish and a spoon worm.

Vescovo says, “It is almost indescribable how excited all of us are about achieving what we just did. 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.”

The hardware

It’s not easy working in such intense conditions. Vescovo’s mission was filmed for a documentary by Atlantic Productions. The creative director, Anthony Geffen, had this to say, “Our team had to pioneer new camera systems that could be mounted on the submersible, operate at up to 10,000 meters below sea level, and work with robotic landers with camera systems that would allow us to film Victor’s submersible on the bottom of the ocean. We also had to design new rigs that would go inside Victor’s submersible and capture every moment of Victor’s dives.” When their expedition is finished near the end of the year, the submersible will be put to use by science institutions for research purposes.

The depth of our pollution

On the seafloor they came across sweet wrappers and a plastic packet, simultaneously giving us a sense of the reach we have as humans, and the negative toll our influence is making on the planet. The sea-life they found will be tested for microsplastics, which is an ever growing issue for our oceans and the organisms living in them.

Daniel Scheepers

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