Filmmaker James Cameron (Avatar, The Abyss) has become the third human in history to travel seven miles down into the deepest part of the ocean—the Challenger Deep, in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench. He’s the first to do it alone, as leader of the Deepsea Challenge mission.
I was eleven when the Trieste made the first, two-man, dive in 1960. I’ve often wondered why nobody ever went back (just as I’ve wondered why we haven’t returned to the Moon). Well, now this team has done it, and it’s the first of a planned series of dives. Whereas the Trieste got just twenty minutes of bottom time and never returned, Cameron and the submersible Deepsea Challenger spent a couple of hours there, gathering samples and shooting 3D video. Here’s the first of many video clips about the National Geographic sponsored mission:
When I blogged, just days ago, about two separate planned expeditions, I had no idea that Cameron’s dive was imminent. And I almost missed it when it happened. The story was buried in the Boston Globe, and it’s too early for it to be in any of my science mags. In my previous forays to the Deepsea Challenge site, I’d failed to notice the prominent box where you can sign up for email updates. I’ve fixed that. But I can’t help wondering: Why aren’t stories like this front-page news? If I were running the world, they would be! Because, by God, this is exciting stuff. What a time to be alive!