Submarine Sends First Live Video Footage Back From Deepest Oceanic Trench On Earth
The deepest parts of the ocean are some of the least explored places on Earth, but a Chinese submarine has managed to give the world a fascinating glimpse, by broadcasting the first ever livestream from the Marianas Trench.
The Fendouzhe manned submarine carried three researchers 10,000 metres underwater to the bottom of the deepest point in the Trench, which lies in the Western pacific ocean, broadcasting its journey on the way down.
At 10,909 metres below sea level, the Marianas Trench is deeper than Mount Everest is tall, so it’s no surprise that only a handful of people have ever made it all the way to the bottom. The first manned expedition took place in 1960, and it wasn’t until over 50 years later that film director James Cameron became the second person to visit one of the most mysterious parts of our planet.
Since then, a few more missions have been launched to the depths, but the Fendouzhe is the first to live-stream a dive. Video footage shot on a deep-sea camera shows the vehicle navigating through dark and murky waters, past swirling sediment on its way to touching down on the ocean floor.
The Fendouzhe, which is also equipped with robotic arms to collect samples from the sea floor, is being used to observe ‘the many species and the distribution of living things on the seabed.’ Scientists told Chinese state broadcaster CCTV that the Trench was full of life, including communities of single cell organisms that feed off organic waste, although none of the rumoured giant sea creatures emerged from the gloom.
The submarine made multiple dives over the space of a few weeks, before returning to port in Hainan province over the weekend. By reaching the lowest point of the trench – called the Challenger Deep – the crew set a national record, and only narrowly missed out on the 1,927 metre world record set by two American explorers last year.
ABC News reports that the China is looking to further explore the possibilities of deep-sea mining, and is in the process of setting up a joint training and research centre to train professionals in deep-sea technology.
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