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Uploaded:2012-03-28
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Hank talks about James Cameron's visit to the very deepest part of the ocean, the Challenger deep of the Mariana Trench.

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Sources:
http://deepseachallenge.com/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/evolution/9160646/Filmmaker-James-Cameron-makes-a-dangerous-one-man-journey-to-the-bottom-of-the-ocean.html
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-22/james-cameron-heads-for-bottom-of-the-ocean/3906980
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/03/120325-james-cameron-mariana-trench-challenger-deepest-returns-science-sub/
Images:
http://press.nationalgeographic.com/downloads/deepsea_challenge/march_26_recovery_dive_surface_image_selects/02_MM8108_20120326_23579.jpg "Courtesy National Geographic"
http://press.nationalgeographic.com/downloads/deepsea_challenge/march_08_2012_image_selects/09_MM8108_20120304_07510.jpg "Courtesy National Geographic"
http://press.nationalgeographic.com/downloads/deepsea_challenge/march_08_2012_image_selects/11_NationalGeographic_614110.jpg "Courtesy National Geographic"
http://press.nationalgeographic.com/downloads/deepsea_challenge/march_08_2012_image_selects/12_NationalGeographic541104.jpg "Courtesy National Geographic"
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mariana_trench_location.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cross_section_of_mariana_trench.jpg
Video Clip:
http://press.nationalgeographic.com/downloads/deepsea_challenge/DescentBroll/NATGEODESCENT_03.25.mov
This list of people who have reached the deepest point in the ocean, nearly 11 km below the surface, grew from two to three on Monday, and that person is none other than James Cameron. That's right, the guy who made the movie The Abyss has officially visited the abyss.

Cameron successfully piloted his craft to the bottom of Challenger deep, which is a slot shaped depression at the southern end of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean that's 10 times deeper than the Grand Canyon. It's the deepest spot on the surface of the earth, nearly 2 kilometers deeper than Mt. Everest is high.

Cameron's vehicle, a vertical torpedo named Deepsea Challenger, is a lot different than the only other vehicle that's ever made the trip more than 50 years ago. While that vehicle only spent 20 minutes in the trench and collected no samples or photographs because there were cracks forming in the windows--ahhh.

Cameron's sub was decked out with a variety of collection arms, suction systems, an eight foot tall LED light, and--it is James Cameron, after all--a ton of 3D HD cameras that film both inside and outside the sub.

Cameron on his trip said that he felt as if he had traveled to another world. And seeing as the Mariana Trench is less well explored than the surface of the moon, and just as inhospitable, I can understand. Actually, I'm curious where you would die faster. The surface of the moon, if the Apollo capsule exploded, or, uh, the bottom of the Mariana Trench, if--if your sub imploded.

Figure that out for me. Where do you think you'd die faster? Comments.

The Cameron mission was part of a partnership with National Geographic, and you can bet they're going to to be making a documentary out of that. And he's planning to take the sub down for more expeditions soon.

It seems just a tiny bit odd, to me, that Cameron, who is after all a filmmaker, not a scientist, is making these trips, but I suppose if you have $600 million to spend, it's better to spend it on science and exploration than private jets and giant yachts and whatever rich people spend their money on.

So hats off to Jimmy. And if you had $600 million to spend on science, what would you do with it?