THE hours-long journey down to what is believed to be the deepest point mankind has visited in any ocean was a complicated one. For Victor Vescovo, it meant being constantly on
the alert as he monitored his state-of-the-art vessel.
When he reached 10,928 metres into the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench of the Pacific Ocean, Vescovo took 15 uninterrupted minutes to take in the view and the enormity of
Details of the groundbreaking mission in late April were released two weeks later. The entire journey took nearly 12 hours – four hours to descend, four hours spent at the
bottom and then about four hours ascending again.
He travelled in a vessel called the SDV Limiting Factor, a titanium craft that is the only one able to travel to such depths. It was outfitted with high definition cameras that
documented everything, including creatures unknown to man.
“There’ve been numerous new species thought found on this expedition. The scientific group is thrilled with the things that have been brought back for additional analysis. It
’s really great,” he said.
He saw a very unusual jellyfish but there was also an unsettling find – rubbish, particularly plastic, in the deepest part of the water.
An expert said the discovery of plastic is disturbing but not surprising because plastic is found throughout the water column in our oceans. It proves the need for more
vigilance to protect the oceans.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 22 May 2019)
Interview with Victor Vescovo
Creatures in the deep are eating plastic