Dive to discover new species in world's deepest oceanic trench also finds plastic
The dive to Mariana was only the third time people have reached the ocean's extreme depths.
An underwater exploration team has dived to the deepest trench in the world, the Challenger Deep in Pacific Ocean Mariana Trench and found marine life a-plenty, but also... trash.
Victor Vescovo, a pro diver and member of the Deep Five Explorations team, has become the first man to completed a version of the "Four Corners of the Earth": trek the Mt Everest, dive the Challenger Deep, and ski on both the geographic poles. In an unexpected title that even Vescovo wasn't expecting, he is now also the first man to discover a plastic bag and sweet wrappers at the bottom of the world's deepest trench, according to BBC.
— The Five Deeps Expedition (@FiveDeeps) May 13, 2019
Congratulations to Victor Vescovo and the @FiveDeeps team on completing its mission to reach the deepest point on the planet: the #MarianaTrench’s #ChallengerDeep. The team set a new deep-diving record of 35,853 ft, 52 ft deeper than any previous manned dive. #DeepPlanet pic.twitter.com/AiNO0mDWlW
— Science Channel (@ScienceChannel) May 13, 2019
Vescovo said he wasn't surprised by the discovery, though, disappointed to see "human contamination" in the deep ocean. While he saw particles of an object, he can't be certain if it was made of plastic or metal. They did have sharp edges, he said in an interview with Discovery, and one of the particles has a letter printed on it, making the assumption that the object was man-made a fair one.
The dive series has helped the Five Deeps research team identify three new species of marine animals, including a type of long-appendaged Amphipod.
Vescovo told Discovery that finding new species with each dive isn't all that surprising either. The dives are intentionally planned in parts of the ocean that haven't been thoroughly explored. It's only fair to assume that undiscovered species and evolution taking its course will unearth new deep-sea life forms in dives like Five Deeps'.
The expedition reached a maximum depth of 10,928 meters into the Trench.
The only two other people to reach these depths was in 2012 by filmmaker James Cameron in his submersible, the Deepsea Challenger, and Lieutenant Don Walsh and Swiss scientist Jacques Piccard of the US Navy in the Trieste a deep submarine in 1960.
The Deep Five exploratory dives to the five oceans of the world are being filmed by Atlantic Productions for a documentary series with Discovery Channel.
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