34 Mariana Trench Facts: Discovering the Deepest Point on Earth

The Mariana Trench, located in the western Pacific Ocean, is the deepest portion of the Earth’s ocean bodies.

Don Walsh, a lieutenant in the United States Navy, and Jacques Piccard, a Swiss engineer, were the first to dive 7 miles (11.3 kilometers) into the trench and reach the bottom of the ocean. The Mariana Trench (also known as the Marianas Trench) is located east and south of the Mariana Islands.

Facts About Mariana Trench:

1. Network of the Mariana Trench:

Network Of The Mariana Trench

The Mariana Trench is part of a network of oceanic trenches in the western Pacific. The system corresponds to subduction zones or the meeting points of two nearby tectonic plates. Latitudinally, the crescent-shaped trench stretches around 1578.3 miles (2,540 km). 

2. Challenger Deep:

The Mariana Trench’s deepest point is known as the Challenger Deep. The Challenger Deep is a deep, valley-like dip on the main trench that is southwest of Guam. The United States controls the Mariana Trench. It was designated as a national monument in the United States in 2009.

3. Shape:

The trench is crescent or semicircular in shape. The water pressure in the Mariana Trench is 1,000 times greater than the atmospheric pressure at sea level.

4. Hot water vents:

Another fascinating feature is the hot water vents on the ocean floor of the trench. These vents emit various minerals, including hydrogen sulfide, which provides food for barophilic bacteria. Microbes feed on these bacteria, and saltwater fish devour the microbes.

5. James Cameron’s discovery:

James Cameron, the filmmaker of the classic film Titanic, was the third person to reach the Mariana Trench. In 2012, the director ventured deep into the Mariana Trench. He returned with many scientific data, images, and specimens.

6. Depth:

A noteworthy characteristic of the Mariana Trench’s vast depth is that it is deep enough to be devoid of silt deposits from adjacent rivers.

7. Age:

The Mariana Trench is thought to be more than 180 million years old, according to numerous research teams. It is also believed that the trench is one of the most aged sea beds in the world.

8. Coldest Region:

The Mariana Trench is also one of the coldest regions on the planet. Because sunlight cannot penetrate so deeply, the Mariana Trench waters will likely be very cold. The majority of the water in the Mariana Trench is less than 1 degree Celsius (33.8 F).

9. The bottom of the Mariana Trench:

The Mariana Trench’s ocean bottom is claimed to be slightly yellow in hue due to deposits of dead plants and animals, as well as shells and animal skeletons.

10. Presence of Amoeba:

Scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography discovered enormous amoebas in the Mariana Trench in 2011. These creatures have a 4 in diameter (10.2 cm).

11. Hazardous creatures:

The terrifying thing is that numerous new hazardous creatures exist in the Mariana Trench. Its immense pressure can also endanger human life. Human research in the Mariana Trench is thus nearly impossible.

12. Another perilous reality:

It is that the Mariana Trench is home to some of the most lethal organisms on the planet. There is a home for many unknown species more than 35,790 ft (10,908.8 m) beneath the sea waves; survival under such fantastic and extreme conditions is truly rare.

13. The formation:

The Mariana Trench formed due to the shifting and movement of the Earth’s crust, which established the foundation for constructing the sea bottom.

14. The estimation of depth:

If we could place the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, at the Mariana Trench’s deepest point, the Challenger Deep, the peak of Mount Everest would still be about 1.2 mi (2 km) under the sea. You can see how deep the Mariana Trench is now!

15. Temperature:

The Mariana Trench’s temperature ranges from extremely hot to extremely cold. The temperature is 1 C when it is cold (33.8 F). However, the water can become quite hot due to hydrothermal vents that can be found throughout the Mariana Trench.

16. Mariana Trench as the National Monument:

President George W. Bush designated the Mariana Trench as a National Monument in 2009.

17. Corrosive Conditions:

Despite the horrific darkness, high hot and freezing temperatures, and corrosive conditions of the Mariana Trench, it is home to over 200 anonymous live microorganisms and small critters such as amphipods and crabs.

18. How many people have been there in the Mariana trench:

Even though humans have been on this planet for many centuries, only three persons have investigated the deepest regions of the Mariana Trench.

19. The first Voyage:

Engineer Jacques Piccard and Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh successfully completed the first voyage to the Challenger Deep in 1960, traveling inside the oceanic waters aboard a United States Navy submersible.

Due to the high-pressure circumstances, the two men could only stay inside for 20 minutes. They couldn’t take any images since it was completely dark, and when the submersible landed, the dust from the bottom blurred their vision.

20. When was the challenger deeply revisited:

More than 50 years later, with advances in science and technology, the Challenger Deep was revisited for ocean exploration in 2012, when filmmaker James Cameron decided to explore the trench alone with his own submarine. He shot photographs, but the batteries in his cameras died.

21. The Mariana Trench was formed more than 140 years ago:

The depth of the trench was measured with a weighted rope by an expedition dubbed ‘Challenger’ in 1875, and it was recorded as 26,850 feet.

22. The USS Nero reached a depth of 31,614 feet in 1899:

We’ve never ceased discovering new things in the Mariana Trench!

Using an echo sounder on Challenger II provided a more accurate technique for acquiring such readings in 1951. A depth of 35,760 feet was measured in Challenger Deep!

23. The use of technology allows us to scan the Mariana Trench’s depths:

Clearer images and more accurate readings have been attainable as technology has advanced, even in the most difficult-to-reach regions.

Sonar, multi-beam echo sounders, and remotely operated cameras have revealed increased detail about what is in the area.

24. The US Navy has assisted in the exploration of the Mariana Trench:

A US Navy hydrographic ship conducted a survey to map the entire location at 100 meters.

25. Seismic surveys of the Mariana Trench are still being conducted:

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Washington University conducted comprehensive seismic trench measurements in 2012.

26. The Mariana Trench has brought together scientists:

Over the years, several successful (and disastrous) descents have provided study material for scientists, biologists, engineers, physicists, geologists, and mathematics. Partnerships have been developed, and information has been disseminated globally due to exploration.

27. In the Mariana Trench, new depth records were set:

Victor Vescovo piloted a DSV dubbed ‘Limiting Factor’ in 2009, which achieved a record depth of 35,850 feet! Triton Submarines in Florida built the vessel.

28. Without divers, we’re investigating the Mariana Trench:

In 2020, the Russian exploration vessel ‘Vityaz’ spent three hours in the trench, becoming the first vessel to work there ‘autonomously’!

29. The Mariana Trench is home to several species:

New plants and creatures have been identified in the Mariana Trench. Since 1960, there has been a significant increase in their discoveries and investigations. In 2011, for example, a single-celled amoeba in the trench was discovered to have a massive 4-inch circumference!

A new form of snailfish was discovered and filmed at a depth of 26,722 feet in 2014. It was the first living organism to be filmed to such depth on video.

30. Pollution is wreaking havoc on the Mariana Trench:

Concerns about pollution in the area have grown since 2016. Plastic and nuclear waste, in particular, have sparked political and environmental debate regarding their disposal in the area.

31. PCBs are a problem in this area:

Researchers studied the bodies of scavenger crustaceans in 2016 to see if any had consumed harmful substances concerning levels of the poisons known as PCBs discovered in their bodies.

32. Even plastic makes its way into the Mariana Trench:

Victor Vescovo is said to have discovered a plastic bag containing wrappers during one of his epic dives in 2019.

33. It has served as a nuclear waste disposal site:

Several oceanic trenches were offered as suitable locations for nuclear waste disposal in 1972. One of these was the Mariana Trench.

34. People actually care about the future of the trench:

Environmentalists continue to advocate for greater worldwide awareness and interest in safeguarding the environment from man-made threats. The local government constantly monitors the Mariana Trench’s water quality and biodiversity.

This article taught us some of the most interesting facts about the Mariana Trench. To know more about such facts, follow this website.

Mariana Trench Facts

Key Takeaways:

  1. The Mariana Trench is the deepest part of the ocean and is home to many unique and fascinating creatures.
  2. The extreme conditions in the Mariana Trench, including high pressure, cold temperatures, and total darkness, pose significant challenges for researchers studying this area.
  3. The exploration of the Mariana Trench has revealed new insights into the geology and biology of the ocean, as well as the potential for new discoveries and innovations.
  4. Despite its remote location and difficult conditions, the Mariana Trench is still vulnerable to human impacts such as pollution and climate change, highlighting the need for continued conservation efforts.
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