An example of biolumniescent creatures (not photographed on Cameron's expedition). Image Source: Osamu Shimomura and Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole © 2012 via National Geographic (Hat tip: Quigley's Cabinet).
On 26 March (local time), Canadian director James Cameron landed at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Using a special sub he has been developing with experts for several years, he journeyed to Challenger Deep, a spot in the Trench seven miles below the Earth's surface. It is the deepest place on the planet, and it lies inside an underwater gulf 50 times the size of the Grand Canyon. In traveling to it alone, Cameron set a world record. Only three previous descents into the Trench have taken place: in 1960 (manned), 1996 (unmanned), and 2006 (unmanned). Cameron took the first film footage of the environment, which he described as "a completely alien world" - it was almost devoid of life:
During his descent, he also observed glowing creatures displaying bioluminescence, although not the large types displayed here. The event is described further at the blog, Quigley's Cabinet and at National Geographic.I landed on a very soft, almost gelatinous flat plain. Once I got my bearings, I drove across it for quite a distance ... and finally worked my way up the slope. ... It was very lunar, a very desolate place, very isolated. My feeling was one of complete isolation from all of humanity. I felt like I, literally in the space of one day, have gone to another planet and come back.
Cameron's analogy to alien worlds is not that far off; his expedition is taken as a study for potential space exploration: "scientists think Jupiter's moon Europa could harbor a global ocean beneath its thick shell of ice—an ocean that, like Challenger Deep, would be lightless, near freezing, and home to areas of intense pressure. (See "Could Jupiter Moon Harbor Fish-Size Life?")"
An example of biolumniescent creatures (not photographed on Cameron's expedition). Image Source: Photograph by Adam Plezer, Your Shot © 2012 via National Geographic (Hat tip: Quigley's Cabinet).
James Cameron describes his historic trip to the Mariana Trench, 25 March 2012. Video Source: Telegraph via Youtube.
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