If humanity willingly looks to the stars in search of answers, it could well be that some of them are rather in the oceans, which are far from having revealed all their secrets. Especially on the side of the Mariana Trench, a place as fascinating as scary, located in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of the island of Guam…
1. She’s really, really deep
Table of Contents
The Mariana Trench reaches, at its deepest point, called Challenger Deep, 10,984 meters. In other words, if we put the highest mountain in the world, Everest (8,848 meters), at the bottom of the pit, the summit would still be submerged. This allows you to get a better idea.
2. She is also very old
Experts who have studied the subject well estimate that the pit was formed around 180 million years ago. It is thus one of the oldest in the world.
3. This is a pole
We all know the South Pole and the North Pole (where Santa Claus lives of course). But poles, there are also two others, namely Everest and the Mariana Trench. These last two sites being geomorphic poles. Not bad for shining on Sunday noon during the family meal.
4. The pressure is very high there
About 1,100 times greater than on the surface. In other words, the person who had the bad idea to walk around in a submarine and open the door to see if the water is good would be crushed in no time. Scientists claim that the pressure is equivalent to that which 1000 elephants would produce if they were put together on the roof of a car.
5. It can be very hot there…
The water that comes out of the hydrothermal springs can in places wickedly raise the temperature, which then reaches over 371 degrees Celsius.
6. … but also rather cold
Less cold than you might think, however, because the springs still warm the fleet quite a bit, the temperature of which fluctuates on average between 1 and 4 degrees Celsius.
7. There are lots of living beings there
A hostile environment for humans, the Mariana Trench is nevertheless home to many animals. For the moment, more than 200 species of microorganisms have been identified there, as well as larger specimens, such as abyssal fish. New species are regularly discovered. Writer Steve Alten thus imagined in his novel The Meg that the pit hid a species of gigantic shark called megalodon, having once lived alongside dinosaurs. A book that inspired a film in Hollywood in which Jason Statham swings mawashi-geri into the jaws of prehistoric fish.
8. It was first explored in 1960
It was Jacques Piccard who had the signal honor of first reaching the bottom of the pit on January 23, 1960 aboard the Trieste, a bathyscaphe designed by his father Auguste Piccard. Piccard who took the opportunity to bring back frozen breaded fish (lol).
9. Director James Cameron has been down there
Passionate about the seabed, the director of terminator (and incidentally titanic) became the first man to explore the pit alone. It was March 25, 2012. Cameron, who was then aboard the Deepsea Challenger, filmed the whole thing for National Geographic. It took 2h38 to reach the bottom and about 70 minutes to rise to the surface.
10. It’s a US National Monument
It was George Bush Jr. who officially decreed this during his term as President. And yes, because in fact, the Mariana Islands are American. This explains that.