Mariana Trench – Level zero of the planet’s largest ocean

Mariana Trench - Level zero of the planet's largest ocean

Mariana Trench – Level zero of the planet’s largest ocean.

Mariana Trench – Life in the zone of death. Victor Vescovo is nine centimeters away from certain death. After four hours of plunging into the eternal darkness of the deep sea, the 53-year-old prepares to reach the lowest point on the planet in his bathyscaphe. – The 10,928 meter deep Mariana Trench in the Western Pacific. Each square centimeter of his submarine’s 9 centimeter-thick titanium hull now withstands one ton of pressure. Suddenly, Vescovo feels a slight jolt. Through the porthole he sees a yellow-brown cloud of sand kicked up in front of the headlights. The adventurer “landed” in a place that had only been reached by two people before.

And yet this dive to the bottom of the Pacific in 2019 is just a small part of a great mission of discovery. Victor Vescovo’s journey to the Mariana Trench is one of as many as 39 descents to the deepest places of the oceans. His team recorded hundreds of hours of footage and took thousands of samples. He managed to see many square kilometers of unexplored territory. What’s more: to the amazement of scientists, the American found sea grasses in the ocean depths that are food for other creatures. He filmed glowing red swarms of bacteria, sea cucumbers and dozens of species new to biology.

“We’ve studied places that have been isolated from the rest of the world for billions of years.” That’s why today Vescovo is more than sure: “There are many more undiscovered phenomena down there – you just have to dare to plunge into this unknown world.”

During the Five Deeps Expedition, Victor Vescovo and his crew covered a total of 87,000 kilometers on the DSSV Pressure Drop. From December 2018 to August 2019, they made 39 deep-sea immersions with a bathyscaphe, descending, among others. to the five deepest points on Earth. The diving with the DSV Limiting Factor submarine lasted 12 hours. Navigation in the eternal darkness, kilometers from the command center on the ship, as well as the appropriate determination of the time of ascent were a challenge even for an experienced operator.

Victor Vescovo reached both the highest point in the world, Mount Everest at 8,849 m above sea level, and the deepest place on our planet, the Mariana Trench, located 10,928 m below sea level. In addition, the 56-year-old American skied to the North and South Poles. He is considered one of the greatest adventurers of our time.

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