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mariana trench tourism

Visit the 'most exclusive destination on earth'... for £710k: Tourists offered the chance to explore the deepest spot in the oceans - the Mariana Trench, which reaches a depth of 35,000ft

  • Eyos Expeditions is offering three people the chance to dive to a spot in the trench called Challenger Deep 
  • The expedition will use a submersible vehicle called Limiting Factor that can dive to 14,000 metres
  • Only seven people have ever been to the bottom of the trench - one of them is film director James Cameron

By Jennifer Newton for MailOnline

Published: 10:27 EDT, 18 March 2020 | Updated: 18:25 EDT, 18 March 2020

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The Mariana Trench is the deepest spot in the world's oceans and only a handful of people have been there.

But for the first time, travellers are being offered the opportunity to explore its most extreme area - if they have a spare $750,000 (£710,000).

Isle of Man-based Eyos Expeditions is offering three members of the public the chance to tag along on a dive it's organising to the deepest spot in the Western Pacific trench, known as Challenger Deep - 35,853ft (10,928 metres/6.79 miles) beneath the surface. It is, the company says, the most exclusive destination on the planet.

The submersible vehicle called Limiting Factor, which will take three lucky members of the public to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest spot in the oceans

The submersible vehicle called Limiting Factor, which will take three lucky members of the public to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest spot in the oceans 

Limiting Factor, pictured, has been pressure tested to 14,000 metres and has already dived to the bottom of the Mariana Trench five times

Limiting Factor, pictured, has been pressure tested to 14,000 metres and has already dived to the bottom of the Mariana Trench five times

The lucky three travellers will fly to the Pacific island of Guam. From there, they will board the expedition vessel, DSSV Pressure Drop, and spend a day at sea before reaching the Mariana Trench.

The expedition, which is set to take place in June, will then use a submersible vehicle called Limiting Factor to dive to the bottom of Challenger Deep.

The vehicle has been pressure-tested to 14,000 metres (45,931ft/8.69 miles) and has already dived to the bottom of the Mariana Trench five times.

Each guest will get an individual trip. 

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According to Eyos Expeditions , which has teamed up with Caladan Oceanic for the trip, the occupants of the submersible are completely protected by the 90mm-thick titanium sphere and 'experience no pressure changes or physiological stresses at all'.

The firm adds: 'Indeed, the inside of the sub is quiet, peaceful and very relaxing.

'The sub has two comfortable seats, three viewports, and hi-definition surround cameras.'

Each dive will take up to 14 hours.

Expedition leader Rob McCallum, from Eyos Expeditions, who says that the expedition to Mariana Trench is a trip to the 'most exclusive destination on earth'

Expedition leader Rob McCallum, from Eyos Expeditions, who says that the expedition to Mariana Trench is a trip to the 'most exclusive destination on earth' 

The expedition vessel, Pressure Drop, will take guests from the island of Guam to the Mariana Trench in the Western Pacific

The expedition vessel, Pressure Drop, will take guests from the island of Guam to the Mariana Trench in the Western Pacific

The descent takes over four hours. Once at the bottom the group will get to potentially film some of the most extraordinary species on the planet. 

They will then begin a four-hour ascent back to the surface. 

Only seven people in the past have ever made it to the bottom of Mariana Trench - one being Hollywood film director James Cameron in 2012.

No formal pre-departure training is required, and those taking part will receive a comprehensive shipboard and sub orientation as part of the pre-dive preparations.

Rob McCallum, founding partner of Eyos Expeditions, said: 'This is the most exclusive destination on earth.

'Currently, only three manned expeditions have ever been made to the bottom of Challenger Deep and more people have been to the moon than to the bottom of the ocean. Four thousand people have been to Everest and 562 to space - only seven have made it to Challenger Deep.

'This will be a rare and special opportunity to participate in and help fund genuine exploration in the modern age.

One of the landers launched before each dive that sends back detailed reports on ocean conditions at depth and acts as a communication and navigation aid

One of the landers launched before each dive that sends back detailed reports on ocean conditions at depth and acts as a communication and navigation aid

'These three mission specialists joining the expedition will be at the forefront of our continued scientific research into the ocean’s virtually unknown hadal zone [the ocean below 6,000m/3.72 miles/19,685ft], and demonstrate the power of private travel to advance our understanding of the planet.

'Whilst onboard [the mother vessel], the mission specialists will be fully integrated members of the team and free to work alongside our sonar operator/ocean mappers, submersible technicians, film production team, expedition management and ship’s officers to gain an insight into the complexities and challenges of hadal exploration.

'Tracking and communicating with the sub is a great way to spend the day, as is the launch and recovery sequence, which is an “all hands” activity.

'When we are not diving, we relax by taking in a movie, heading to the gym, reading, or heading up to the Sky Bar for a sundowner.'

Eyos Expeditions says that every new dive is ‘rehearsed’ at a full team meeting that draws in the collective expertise of the captain, sonar operator, chief scientist, sub team and the expedition leader

Eyos Expeditions says that every new dive is ‘rehearsed’ at a full team meeting that draws in the collective expertise of the captain, sonar operator, chief scientist, sub team and the expedition leader

On Limiting Factor’s previous dives to Challenger Deep, both new species and discarded plastic were found

On Limiting Factor’s previous dives to Challenger Deep, both new species and discarded plastic were found

The dive is part of a much longer six-month-long Ring of Fire expedition Eyos and Caladan Oceanic are operating.

Ben Lyons, Eyos Expeditions’ CEO, said: 'The Ring of Fire expedition will continue the groundbreaking work of the Five Deeps Expedition (FDE) last year. 

'Its collective mission is to verify and test the deepest points possible, collect and analyze scientific samples, and extend humankind’s knowledge of the most extreme environment on earth. 

'Pressure Drop will further contribute to science with powerful full-ocean-depth sonar - Kongsberg EM-124. It can produce high-resolution 3D maps of the deepest seafloor in order to further our knowledge of the oceans.'

The science team - led by Five Deeps veteran Dr. Alan Jamieson from Newcastle University - will deploy landers [robotic submersibles] to collect further biological samples and shoot valuable video footage.

This continues the work of the FDE where over 40 new species have already been identified, with this number expected to rise significantly as the samples are processed. The dives will also continue to assess and document environmental impact (including plastic pollution) at the deepest point of the oceans.

On the Limiting Factor’s previous dives to Challenger Deep, both new species and discarded plastic were found.

Eyos Expeditions’ team has cumulatively completed over 1,200 expeditions, and will plan, manage and lead all aspects of the voyage including logistical support, team travel and permits.

James Cameron emerges from the one-man submersible Deepsea Challenger after his successful descent to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in 2012

James Cameron emerges from the one-man submersible Deepsea Challenger after his successful descent to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in 2012

Last year Eyos led a dive to the Titanic in the North Atlantic Ocean to assess how microbial life was eating away at the wreck.

But it was reported that a submarine hired by the company struck the legendary ocean liner due to 'intense and highly unpredictable currents'.

An Eyos Expedition leader confirmed that there had been contact with the Titanic but said that any damage to the remains would have been minor. 

Guests interested in joining the Mariana Trench expedition should contact EYOS Expeditions for pricing and full details at [email protected]. For more information visit www.eyos.com .  

Share or comment on this article: Tourists offered the chance to explore the 35,000ft-deep Mariana Trench with Eyos Expeditions

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You can take a submarine ride in a 'cocoon of titanium' to the deepest point on Earth

Samantha Rosen

Looking for a way to get away? Look down. Deep, deep, deep down — all the way to Challenger Deep.

Come mid-May, EYOS Expeditions will launch submarine expeditions to Challenger Deep, a location in the Mariana Trench that, at 38,583 feet, holds the title of the lowest point on Earth. The trip will take up to 14 hours — over four hours to descend; four on the seafloor where divers can explore and film from the comfort of the submarine; and another four to get back up to the surface.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter .

The ship, known as the Limiting Factor, has two seats, three view ports and high-definition "surround" cameras. It's also equipped with 10 sets of LED lighting arrays so you can light up the terrain, Rob McCallum, Expedition Leader at EYOS Expeditions, told The Points Guy.

Limiting Factor has been pressure-tested in a chamber and has already done five practice dives to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. In fact, it's the only vehicle ever constructed that's capable of multiple dives to full ocean depth. In the submarine, you're completely protected by the 3.5-inch titanium sphere. You won't experience any pressure changes or physiological stresses at all.

"It's extremely relaxing, in the sense that you're in this cocoon of titanium. It's silent and there's no perception of movement. So it's very calming and soothing ," McCallum said.

Related: Virgin Galactic inches closer to taking passengers into space

The surrounding environment is pitch black after about 500 feet, but because of the LED lighting arrays, you'll be able to see what's around you — including fish, up to around 26,000 feet, and then hadal-zone creatures after that. Hadal creatures, such as flea-like amphipods, have never known daylight and thrive at the bottom of the ocean.

(Image courtesy of EYOS Expeditions and Caladan Oceanic.)

As McCallum explains it, divers "will feel this passion and expertise flying through the ship," because they'll be accompanied by a really passionate team of sonar operators, scientists, ship crew and more.

The dives cost $750,000 per diver, and there are only three spots on each voyage. The three spots on the maiden voyage sold out very quickly, and the dive is scheduled to continue in May despite the coronavirus outbreak . In fact, divers will be tested for COVID-19 before embarking on the journey, a spokesperson for EYOS Expeditions confirmed.

Challenger Deep is arguably the most exclusive destination on Earth. Only three manned expeditions have ever been made to the bottom — to put that in perspective, more people have been to the moon than the bottom of the ocean. In fact, 4,000 people have been to Mount Everest, 562 have been to space and only seven have made it to Challenger Deep.

Before even reaching the dive site, travelers will spend a day at sea on a yacht (dubbed the Pressure Drop), which departs from Agat, Guam. So, if you want to pay for at least part of this trip with miles, stock up on United miles (or Chase Ultimate Rewards points which transfer to United at a 1:1 ratio).

The fastest way to get there from the continental U.S. will be on United flights departing from Honolulu (HNL), but you can also have an AvGeek experience worthy of this ultra-exclusive trip by booking United's Island Hopper. This bucket-list itinerary connects the tiny Pacific islands of Majuro (MAJ), Kwajalein (KWA, though not every Island Hopper flight stops here), Kosrae (KSA), Pohnpei (PNI) and Chuuk (TKK) with Honolulu.

Related: 12 things to know before flying the United Island Hopper

Subsequent dives are also going on as scheduled and, if you're interested in joining one, you can email EYOS for more information .

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A Millionaire Explorer Is Offering Trips to the Mariana Trench For $750,000

mariana trench tourism

Anyone can join Victor Vescovo on his voyage to the bottom of the sea. Image: Screenshot/Youtube

The Inertia

Have you heard that we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the ocean floor? It’s true. It’s mostly because we can see a lot more of the moon than we can the bottom of the ocean. But if you want to see the bottom of the deepest point in the ocean, you can. If you’ve got $750,000 and nerves of steel, at least.

Since the moon is illuminated by both light and radio waves, we can use telescopes or radars on satellites to look at it. Water, however, is a lot different — light or radio waves don’t travel through it very well at all. That means that if you want to see what’s going on down there, you basically have to go down and shine a light on it. Sure, there’s sonar mapping, but that’s not all that effective, and there’s a lot of ocean to cover. We’ve only effectively mapped about five percent of the seafloor. NASA says we’ve mapped 98.2 percent of the moon, which, if my math is correct, is a lot more than five percent.

The deepest point in the ocean is called the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. It is, as you expected, very, very deep. Thirty-six thousand feet deep, give or take a few hundred feet. Mt. Everest could fit in there with 6,500 feet to spare. It’s a strange place down there in the dark. The pressure is immense, which makes doing basically anything a gamble. Back in 1960, oceanographer Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard took a submersible down to nearly 36,000 feet. Then, in 2012, James Cameron (yes, Titanic, Aliens, and Avatar ‘s James Cameron) got a little deeper. In April of 2019, an explorer and naval officer named Victor Vescovo went solo to the bottom of the trench and officially took the record for the deepest dive.

Victor Vescovo

Victor Vescovo, uber-wealthy explorer who has visited the deepest points in the oceans and highest points on land. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Vescovo is an interesting man. The 53-year old made a fortune running a private investment firm and has visited the lowest known points in the five oceans and climbed the highest peaks on all seven continents. He’s also the one who told us that we’ve dumped so much garbage into the oceans it ended up at the deepest point . “Going to the extremes, I believe, is a natural inclination of man,” he said. “I think it is a wonderful part of human nature that makes us want to push ourselves to the limits, which has helped propel us as a species to where we are now.”

And now, if you’ve got $750,000 kicking around for a vacation and you’re willing to risk your life, you can join the ranks of those deep-sea explorers. Vescovo is gearing up to take civilians down there on a retired Navy surveillance vessel. The trip, which will take eight days and includes three dives, already has two fully-booked groups for May. It takes about four hours of sinking to get all the way down there, and visitors can expect to spend around six hours at the bottom, peering around into that inky blackness.

Almost anyone can join him, as long as they’re under 220 pounds. The hatch into the sub isn’t big enough to allow a person of ample girth, and since the capsule stays at one atmosphere for the duration of the dive, decompression stops on the way up aren’t necessary. “Virtually anyone can now go to the bottom of the ocean in this vehicle,” he told IFLScience .

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Mariana Islands

From the pristine beaches of Saipan to indigenous customs, the Mariana Islands offer a rich tapestry of experiences. The Mariana Trench, the world’s deepest point, is just one of the archipelago’s geographical marvels. Dive deep into the Marianas with our travel guide, and explore each island’s distinct character and charm.

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Mariana Islands Travel Guide

The Mariana Islands form a chain of glistening gems in the cerulean western Pacific. This stunning, crescent-shaped archipelago comprises the summits of fourteen mostly dormant…

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Mariana Islands : Tourism Insights

The Marianas Visitors Authority is the one-stop shop for activities, travel information and valuable local insight.

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Island Dive Spots In Focus

Discover the essential dive spots across the Mariana Islands, from submerged shipwrecks to natural underwater sinkholes.

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The Mariana Islands form a chain of glistening gems in the cerulean western Pacific. This stunning, crescent-shaped archipelago comprises the summits of fourteen mostly dormant volcanic mountains, sculpting a true tropical paradise.

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From authentic cuisine to luxurious stays, discover the best places to visit and things to do in the Mariana Islands.

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Japan space tourist eyes Mariana Trench trip after ISS

Tokyo (AFP) – Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa said Friday his trip into space had given him a new appreciation for Earth, and he now hopes to plunge into the ocean's forbidding Mariana Trench.

Issued on: 07/01/2022 - 06:50

Maezawa and his assistant Yozo Hirano spent 12 days on the International Space Station last month, where they documented life in space for one million YouTube subscribers.

Speaking Friday for the first time since his return to Japan, Maezawa said the voyage had made him appreciate home even more.

"Going to space makes you even more fascinated about the Earth. You learn to appreciate how you feel the wind, smell things and experience the seasons," he told a press conference in Tokyo.

"I thought: the Earth is amazing."

While in space, he produced a string of videos including demonstrations on how to urinate, shampoo hair and brush teeth in space.

On Friday, he explained some of the difficulties of life in zero gravity, including sleeping.

"It's not so easy to fall asleep, because you're constantly floating while asleep –- there is no nothing to anchor your body."

The art collector also revealed he had taken a small piece by a Japanese artist with him to the ISS, and had left it behind for others to enjoy.

The ISS trip was only the first of the 46-year-old's planned space forays.

He is already scheduled to take eight people on a 2023 mission around the moon, operated by Elon Musk's SpaceX.

But he said he has another exploration in mind now as well.

"Not only to go to the Moon, not just to travel upwards but also downwards is another dream of mine," he said.

"I am thinking about going down to the Mariana Trench, deep under the ocean," he said.

The Mariana Trench is the deepest place on Earth and has rarely been visited by humans.

"I want to keep taking on challenges," Maezawa added.

He said some elements of the planned trip, including the submarine he will use and how long the expedition will take, have already been decided, but declined to reveal details.

Maezawa's space odyssey, which is believed to have cost around 10 billion yen ($86 million), has attracted some controversy, with detractors calling it a "hedonistic hobby" by the mega-rich founder of Japan's largest online fashion mall.

Others though have credited his relatable approach and social media-savvy with renewing public interest in space flights.

Maezawa has brushed aside the criticism.

"When you take on challenges, of course you will sometimes be criticised and sometimes fail. There may be some people who get scared and quit," he said.

"As for me, I am not always successful. I don't make all my dreams come true. But I still believe it's fun to take on challenges."

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Mariana Trench Marine National Monument

Explore one of the deepest place on Earth—deeper even than the height of Mount Everest above sea level.

Table of Contents

Location and size, unique features, looking to the future, more information.

Underwater hydrothermal-vent chimney

The total area of the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument consists of approximately 95,216 square miles (246,608 square kilometers) of submerged lands and waters of the Mariana Archipelago east of the Philippines. It is comprised of three units:

  • The Islands Unit, which includes the waters and submerged lands of Farallon de Pajaros (also known as Uracus), Maug, and Asuncion (the three northernmost Mariana Islands)
  • The Volcanic Unit or Arc of Fire Refuge, which includes the submerged lands within 1 nautical mile of 21 designated volcanic sites
  • The Trench Unit, which encompasses the submerged lands extending from the northern limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to the southern limit of the EEZ of the United States in the Territory of Guam

The waters above the seafloor in the Volcanic and Trench Units are not included in the Monument. Additionally, the CNMI Government manages the terrestrial environment of Uracus, Maug, and Asuncion.

Established by Presidential Proclamation in January 2009, the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument is cooperatively managed by the Secretary of Commerce (NOAA), the Secretary of the Interior (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Government, in cooperation with the Department of Defense and the Department of State.

Monument designation provides international, national, and local recognition that the Marianas is a refuge for seabirds, sea turtles, unique coral reefs, and a great diversity of seamount and hydrothermal vent life worth preservation.

Jellyfish exploring the Enigma Seamount at 3,700 meters sea deep.

The Mariana Trench Marine National Monument is geologically very complex, sporting a subduction zone, back arc basins, an active simmering island, and submarine volcanoes. 

The crescent-shaped Mariana Trench (part of the Trench Unit) is the "Grand Canyon" of the ocean (actually 120 times larger) and includes some of the deepest known areas on Earth. Challenger Deep, the deepest part of the Mariana Trench and the greater ocean, is located at a depth of about 36,000 feet (around 11,000 meters) — about 7,000 feet deeper than Mount Everest is tall. 

The Volcanic Unit includes a series of undersea mud volcanoes and thermal vents that support unusual life forms in some of the harshest conditions on Earth. Species are able to survive here despite hydrothermal vents that produce highly acidic and boiling water. 

The Champagne vent, found at the NW Eifuku volcano, produces almost pure liquid carbon dioxide (CO 2 ); it’s one of only two known liquid CO 2 sites in the world. A pool of liquid sulfur at the Daikoku submarine volcano is also one of a kind — the only other known location of molten sulfur is on Jupiter’s moon Io.

In the Islands Unit, unique reef habitats support marine biological communities dependent on basalt rock foundations, unlike those throughout the remainder of the Pacific. These reefs and waters are among the most biologically diverse in the Western Pacific and include some of the greatest diversity of seamount and hydrothermal vent life yet discovered. They also contain one of the most diverse collections of stony corals in the Western Pacific. 

The submerged caldera (volcanic crater) at Maug is one of only a few known places in the world where photosynthetic and chemosynthetic communities (those that make food from light and inorganic chemicals, respectively) co-exist. The caldera is approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometer) wide and 820 feet (250 meter) deep, with very steep inner walls. In the center of the crater, a coral-topped lava dome rises to within 65 feet (20 meter) of the surface, while deep hydrothermal vents along the northeast side of the dome emit low-temperature water that influences the deep-water composition. Shallow warm water and gas vents near the mid-point of the inner East Island have a localized negative impact on the otherwise thriving coral reef system at Maug. Volcanic vents within the caldera provide scientists with an in situ (in the field) laboratory for the changes that will likely occur in coral reef ecosystems from ocean acidification and rising water temperatures associated with global warming.

Elsewhere within the Islands Unit, coral reef ecosystems have high numbers of apex predators (sharks and jacks), larger than anywhere else along the Mariana Archipelago, with one site having the highest density of sharks anywhere in the Pacific. Similarly, these northern islands have the highest large fish biomass (total mass of fish in a given volume) in the Mariana Islands. The rare bumphead parrotfish (the largest parrotfish species), lives in these waters.

This vast and unique area is perhaps the most spectacular part of the Ring of Fire that encircles most of the Pacific Ocean. It has many secrets to yield and many potentially valuable lessons that can benefit the rest of the world. 

Remotely operated vehicle underwater at Chamorro Seamount.

NOAA research expeditions will continue to study and explore this amazing area. NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working with the CNMI Government, Department of Defense, Department of State, U.S. Coast Guard, and others to develop a monument management plan and are collaborating for the long-term protection of the Marianas. 

  • The 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas Mariana  
  • 2016 - Jellyfish at Enigma Seamount  at a depth of ~3,700 meters  (video)
  • Maug’s Caldera: A Natural Laboratory (video)
  • First Voyage to the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument (video)
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mariana Trench Marine National Monument
  • Executive Branch of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Website
  • Notice of Availability of the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument Draft Management Plan and Environmental Assessment
  • NOAA's Ocean Explorer - Ring of Fire Exploration
  • New Frontiers in Ocean Exploration: The E/V Nautilus, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer , and R/V Falkor 2016 Field Season
  • Learn about the Searching for Life in the Mariana Back-arc Expedition
  • James Cameron Makes First Ever Successful Solo Dive to Mariana Trench
  • Learn how Dr. Kathy Sullivan made history as the first woman reaching the bottom of the Mariana Trench

Last updated by Pacific Islands Regional Office on 05/20/2024

May 29, 2020

The Mariana Trench Is 7 Miles Deep: What’s Down There?

The Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean is so deep your bones would literally dissolve. What's down there in its black, crushing depths?

By Everyday Einstein Sabrina Stierwalt

Mariana Trench

Getty Images

mariana trench tourism

Somewhere between Hawaii and the Philippines near the small island of Guam, far below the surface of the water, sits the Mariana Trench, the deepest spot in the ocean. What’s down there?

How deep is the Mariana Trench?

The Trench sits like a crescent-shaped dent in the floor of the Pacific Ocean, extending over 1500 miles long with an average width around 43 miles and a depth of almost 7 miles (or just under 36,201 feet). At that depth, the weight of all that water above makes the pressure in the Trench around  1000 times higher  than it would be in, say, Miami or New York. Floor vents release bubbles of liquid sulfur and carbon dioxide. Temperatures are just above freezing, and everything is drowning in darkness. 

For comparison, most ocean life lives above a depth  of 660 feet . Nuclear submarines hover around 850 feet below the surface as they travel through the ocean waters. Whales aren’t usually seen below about 8,200 feet. The site of Jack and Rose’s true (albeit fictional) love, the sunken Titanic, can be found at 12,467 feet.

According to National Geographic, if you were to put Mount Everest at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, its peak would still sit around  7,000 feet below sea level . 

Toward the southern end of the Mariana Trench lies the Challenger Deep. It sits 36,070 feet below sea level, making it the point most distant from the water’s surface and the deepest part of the Trench.

While the number of people that have climbed to the top of Mount Everest, the Earth’s  highest  point, holds somewhere in the thousands,  only 3 divers  have ever explored the Challenger Deep. The first expedition happened in 1960 when Jacques Piccard and Navy Lt. Don Walsh reached the Challenger Deep in a U.S. Navy submersible. They were only able to spend 20 minutes there due to the extreme pressures, and their arrival stirred up too much dust from the seafloor for them to take any pictures. 

The next visitor didn’t arrive until over 50 years later in 2012, when filmmaker and science fiction aficionado James Cameron solo dived to the Challenger Deep in a submarine he designed himself. Cameron was able to spend three hours there. And, of course, he captured video and took many photos—he is a Hollywood filmmaker, after all.

The extreme pressures took a toll on his equipment, though. Batteries drained, sonar died, and some of his vessel’s thrusters to malfunctioned, making it hard to maneuver. 

»Continue reading “The Mariana Trench is 7 Miles Deep—What’s Down There?” on QuickAndDirtyTips.com

Explore the Mariana Trench

The Mariana Trench is located in the Pacific Ocean, just east of the 14 Mariana Islands (11"21' North latitude and 142" 12' East longitude ) near Japan.   As you probably already know, it is the deepest part of the earth's oceans, and the deepest location of the earth itself.  It was created by ocean-to-ocean subduction, a phenomena in which a plate topped by oceanic crust is subducted beneath another plate topped by oceanic crust.

The deepest part of the Mariana Trench is the Challenger Deep, so named after the exploratory vessel HMS Challenger II; a fishing boat converted into a sea lab by  Swiss scientist Jacques Piccard. 

 On this site,  you will find information on the main characteristics of the Mariana Trench, its exploration, and its ecosystem.

The Biology section of the site covers the fish and various (organisms and microorganisms) of the deep, what makes these creatures unique, and the fascinating ways in which they live and survive.

The Oceanography section explores the data pertaining to the Mariana Trench and other deep sea formations.

The Exploration section relates some of the events pertaining to the first survey of the MT, and the history of deep sea  exploration.

We have also included a section on the Mariana Arc , from an article published by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Magazine Online .  In addition to this, we also added a nautical measurement conversion table.

In closing we have added two supplemental sections so that you may continue your research into the fascinating world of the deep.  Whether you are seeking answers to questions about the Mariana Trench, or are simply interested in Marine Biology, Oceanography, or related subjects, we hope our site will help you better understand the mysteries of the ocean floor.

mariana trench tourism

You will notice that some of the pages on this site feature our fact finder, mainly a recap of the important points covered in the sections.  In addition to this and the resources page, relevant links appear at the bottom of each page.

Contact us: Click Here Copyright © 2024 www.marianatrench.com

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A year after the Titan submersible implosion, investigators still don't have answers

Rachel Treisman

A Coast Guard official speaks to press at a podium, with a port in the background.

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. John Mauger, commander of the First Coast Guard District talks to the media on June 22, 2023, at Coast Guard Station Boston. Steven Senne/AP hide caption

A year after a deep-sea submersible headed for the Titanic wreckage imploded, sparking a frantic, dayslong search that ended with all five passengers declared dead, authorities still can’t say for sure what exactly went wrong — and need more time to be able to do so.

The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation (MBI) said Friday that its investigation into the contributing factors “remains active but will take longer than initially projected to complete.”

All 5 passengers aboard Titan sub are dead after a 'catastrophic implosion'

All 5 passengers aboard Titan sub are dead after a 'catastrophic implosion'

Investigators were charged last year with determining not only the cause but also whether any acts of misconduct contributed to it, whether the evidence indicates any criminal acts that may be referred for prosecution and whether there is a need to change laws or regulations to avoid repeats.

“The investigation into the implosion of the Titan submersible is a complex and ongoing effort,” MBI Chair Jason Neubauer said in a statement . “We are working closely with our domestic and international partners to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the incident.”

OceanGate’s Titan submersible began and, we now know, ended its journey in the North Atlantic on June 18, 2023.

It lost contact with its support ship some 900 miles east of Cape Cod nearly two hours after it began its nearly 2.5-mile descent, spurring a massive search-and-rescue operation involving four countries, fueling round-the-clock media coverage and capturing the world’s attention.

Teams combed a search area that grew to more than twice the size of Connecticut, detecting underwater noises as they raced against the submersible’s purported 96-hour supply of oxygen.

The search ended on June 22, when the Coast Guard announced that a vessel had discovered a debris field “consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber” on the seafloor, about 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic. The U.S. Navy confirmed at that point that its sensors had detected the Titan’s likely implosion hours before the Coast Guard had even declared it missing.

Officials said all five people on board died: OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, who was piloting the vessel; Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman Dawood; British businessman Hamish Harding; and French deep-sea explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

James Cameron says the Titan passengers probably knew the submersible was in trouble

James Cameron says the Titan passengers probably knew the submersible was in trouble

As the search for the submersible dominated headlines, reports emerged that experts within and beyond OceanGate had raised concerns about the safety of its submersible as far back as 2018, citing a lack of oversight and adherence to industry standards.

The now-shuttered company, which charged Titan passengers $250,000 each, was upfront about the fact that its vessels were not certified by any independent marine agency, and Rush said publicly that he considered regulations to be at odds with innovation.

A number of its previous missions had been scrapped or were otherwise unsuccessful: The submersible reached the depth of the Titanic wreckage on just 13 of its 90 dives since it started in 2021, according to the company’s passenger waiver .

Former passengers and industry experts (as well as social media onlookers) have criticized OceanGate for everything from making the submersible’s hull out of carbon fiber to using a video-game controller to steer it.

Experts raised safety concerns about OceanGate years before its Titanic sub vanished

Experts raised safety concerns about OceanGate years before its Titanic sub vanished

But the work of determining the actual cause of the implosion falls primarily to the Coast Guard and, to some extent, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), according to the June 2023 memorandum convening the MBI.

It says the six-person board must complete and submit a report “with the collected evidence, the established facts, and its conclusions and recommendations” to their commandant within 12 months — or provide a written explanation for the delay and the expected completion date.

The MBI statement blamed the delay on several factors, including the “need to contract two salvage missions to secure vital evidence and the extensive forensic testing required.”

A spokesperson for the Coast Guard’s public affairs office told NPR over email that the investigation is currently in its fact-finding phase and does not have a projected completion date. The latter part of that phase will include a public hearing, which requires at least 60 days’ notice.

The MBI says it intends to hold that session “by the end of the year.”

What else has happened in the past year

U.S. Coast Guard marine safety engineers inspect the aft titanium endcap from the Titan submersible on a boat.

In this photo provided by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, U.S. Coast Guard marine safety engineers survey the aft titanium endcap from the Titan submersible, in the North Atlantic Ocean in October 2023. AP/U.S. National Transportation Safety Board hide caption

This is the Coast Guard’s first Titan-related public update of 2024, though it has issued a handful of press releases about the investigation since last summer.

It announced on June 28, 2023, that it had received debris and evidence that a Canadian vessel recovered from the seafloor and intended to transport it back to the U.S.

“United States medical professionals will conduct a formal analysis of presumed human remains that have been carefully recovered within the wreckage at the site of the incident,” it said, adding that it would also continue evidence collection and witness interviews.

OceanGate suspends its commercial and exploration operations after Titan implosion

OceanGate suspends its commercial and exploration operations after Titan implosion

Several months later, in October , the Coast Guard said that marine safety engineers had recovered the remaining Titan submersible debris — including more presumed human remains — from the seafloor in a “follow-up to initial recovery operations.”

The additional evidence was transferred to the U.S. for cataloging and analysis. The MBI said it was coordinating with the NTSB and other international investigative agencies to schedule a “joint evidence review” of the debris, which would help determine the next steps for forensic testing.

That review took place in Newport , R.I., in early November and involved the U.S. Coast Guard, NTSB, Transportation Safety Board of Canada and the French Marine Casualty Investigation Authority.

Neubauer said at the time that those partnerships enabled a “thorough examination of the international incident, promoting safety and transparency.” Investigators issued no other updates until last week.

The missing submersible raises troubling questions for the adventure tourism industry

The missing submersible raises troubling questions for the adventure tourism industry

OceanGate for its part, suspended its commercial and exploration in early July 2023. Its website currently displays just one page , with that message.

In a statement shared with NPR, OceanGate said it is "continuing to cooperate with authorities, including the U.S. Coast Guard, in their investigations.”

"On the anniversary of the tragic implosion of the Titan, we remember the five remarkable individuals who perished: Shahzada Dawood, Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and Stockton Rush," the company said. "We express our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones, as well as everyone impacted by this tragedy."

The submersible implosion raised a multitude of safety concerns about both deep-sea exploration and the troubled adventure tourism industry more broadly.

But despite the unanswered questions, ocean explorers are confident their work will continue. Several told The Associated Press this week the tragedy underscores the importance of following rigorous safety standards — but doesn’t represent the industry’s solid track record or dampen explorers’ desire to keep venturing into the depths.

More trips to the Titanic site are on the horizon

The OceanGate logo is seen on a vessel.

The OceanGate logo is seen on a vessel stored near its Everett, Washington offices on June 21, 2023. David Ryder/Getty Images hide caption

The century-old appeal of the Titanic wreckage site, in particular, continues to endure.

This spring, the U.S.-based company that owns the salvage rights to the shipwreck announced it will undertake a research and imaging expedition — using remotely operated vehicles — in early July.

A remarkable new view of the Titanic shipwreck is here, thanks to deep-sea mappers

A remarkable new view of the Titanic shipwreck is here, thanks to deep-sea mappers

RMS Titanic Inc., which has recovered artifacts from the site in seven of its eight expeditions over the years, says the focus of July’s mission is to assess the state of the site and debris field and identify which artifacts are at highest risk of deterioration to recover in future expeditions.

“By utilizing the latest imaging and deep-sea technologies, we will get an accurate assessment of some of the most cherished artifacts, including the Marconi Radio , identify new artifacts, and we hope to shine a light on new discoveries that have never been seen before,” RMST Inc. President Jessica Sanders said.

Deep sea rescues have a mixed track record. The Pisces III is one that succeeded

Deep sea rescues have a mixed track record. The Pisces III is one that succeeded

And just last month, an Ohio-based real estate mogul announced his plan to venture to the shipwreck site in a new submersible.

The Wall Street Journal reported that shortly after the Titan implosion, billionaire Larry Connor, 74, contacted Patrick Lahey, the co-founder of Triton Submarines, asking him to build a submarine that could reach the Titanic safely and repeatedly.

Connor — a record-holding skydiver who has flown to the International Space Station with SpaceX and made multiple dives to the Mariana Trench (with Lahey, in fact) — told the New York Times that the two aim to conduct scientific research at the site in a two-person submersible to be designed in the summer of 2026.

He said he's concerned that "people associate diving subs ... with danger or tragedy," and that their mission will be twofold.

“The other purpose is to demonstrate to people around the globe that you can build a revolutionary, first-of-its-kind sub and dive it safely and successfully to great depths,” he added.

  • Titan submersible
  • deep sea exploration
  • U.S. Coast Guard

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