What James Cameron found at the bottom of the Mariana Trench during a risky solo dive to a depth of 11 thousand meters
James sat in a tight capsule 109 cm in diameter, hunched over like a snail. It was uncomfortable and very exciting. The bathyscaphe, weighing 11.8 tons and 7 m long, was rapidly sinking down into a dark bottomless abyss. The divers on the surface have turned into tiny figures. And then they disappeared altogether. Everything has been worked out to the smallest detail, but anything can happen at depth. There is no turning back. Only forward and nothing else.
Canadian filmmaker and explorer James Cameron b. 1952 became famous all over the world as the creator of the famous films “Terminator”, “Aliens”, “Titanic”, “Avatar”. The worldwide collection of “Titanic” was staggering — $ 2.19 billion It was a tremendous success. “Avatar” surpassed him and grossed $ 2.9 billion. Both films took the third and first place at the box office in the history of cinema. The director earned very well. Why not make your dream come true — to visit the deepest point of the earth — the Challenger Abyss in the Mariana Trench? It’s quite real! James set to work energetically.
The Mariana Trench stretches for 2.5 thousand km in the western part of the Pacific Ocean. The depression is 69 km wide and about 11 km deep. The water pressure there is simply enormous — a thousand times higher than atmospheric pressure. In 1960, the American John Walsh and the Swiss Jacques Picard descended to a depth of 10,980 m in the “Trieste” bathyscaphe. The descent of the “pioneers” lasted 4 hours 48 minutes, and the ascent 3 hours 15 minutes.
The device spent only twenty minutes on the seabed. During this time, the researchers managed to eat a chocolate bar. Then they were raised to the surface. Subsequently, there were descents of deep-sea vehicles, but without people.
And only 52 years later, a new dive with a man on board
In 2012, James Cameron, at the age of 60, reached the bottom of the Mariana Trench alone for the first time in history. The creation of the bathyscaphe by the project company with the sponsorship of the Rolex watch manufacturing company lasted 7 years. The Deepsea Challenger was built in an ordinary pavilion of a shopping center in Sydney, Australia. James personally designed the 3-D camera.
On March 26 at 5–15 the device went to the ocean floor. In a tight steel ball I had to sit with my knees pulled up to my chin. The green bathyscaphe was rapidly sinking vertically downward at a speed of 150 m / min. The touchscreen glowed in the dark. It got colder in the cockpit. The temperature overboard is two degrees. James put on warm socks and boots with great difficulty. In half an hour, a depth of 3.8 km was passed. At 06–33 a depth of 7 km was reached, after 15 minutes — 8.2 km. There is silence outside the window. Plankton particles flickered like fine snow in the darkness. At 7–46 the bathyscaphe touched the bottom at a depth of 10 898 m. Darkness and no one around. But how much more needs to be done! No time. James got to work.
The hatch opened, a mechanical “arm” -manipulator began to collect soil. But something went wrong. I had to finish with soil samples — the manipulator broke down. The bathyscaphe moved slowly forward, covering 1.5 km. Where are the animals? They are not visible! But we managed to photograph some oddities at the bottom. Three hours later, three out of three engines broke down on the starboard side. Then the bathyscaphe dropped 500 kg of ballast and rushed up towards the sun.
The ascent lasted an hour. 68 new species of living organisms were found in soil samples. We managed to collect a lot of photos and videos. James recalled:
I felt cut off from the rest of the world, with no chance of salvation, in a place that humanity had never seen before. And … my wife called me. Of course, it was nice, but let this be a lesson for all men. You may think you can escape, but you won’t succeed!