Record-setting deep sea expedition finds plastic trash at bottom of ocean
LOS ANGELES - A new world record was set for the deepest-ever manned sea dive. Multiple new species were discovered at the bottom of the ocean, along with a plastic bag and candy wrappers.
Victor Vescovo, a 53-year-old financier, underwent the deepest solo dive in human history, navigating 10,927 meters, or about 35,853 feet, to the nethermost part of the southern end of the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench, as part of a mission to chart the bottom of the ocean.
“It is almost indescribable how excited all of us are about achieving what we just did,” said Vescovo in a press release.
Vescovo made multiple dives, one of which lasted for four hours. He eventually journeyed to what is commonly known as the deepest point on planet Earth, “Challenger Deep.”
“We feel like we have just created, validated, and opened a powerful door to discover and visit any place, any time, in the ocean – which is 90 percent unexplored,” said Vescovo.
The last person to visit the bottom of Challenger Deep was filmmaker James Cameron in 2012.
The expedition was part of a Discovery Channel series documenting deep sea exploration. This dive makes Vescovo the first person to have visited the summit of Mount Everest, the bottom of the ocean, and skied both North and South poles.
Vescovo also completed the Seven Summits in 2011, which means he has climbed the highest peak on every continent.
Throughout the expedition, Vescovo’s team discovered multiple new species in areas never before charted, but it appeared that human trash had reached these depths first.
While this expedition marked an extraordinary feat for human exploration, the discovery of trash at the bottom of the ocean was a disappointment for Vescovo and his team.
“I was disappointed to see human contamination in the deepest point in the ocean,” said Vescovo, “I hope we can at least help raise awareness about deliberate or accidental discharges into the oceans and reinforce our efforts to keep the oceans as pristine as we can.”