Director James Cameron is headed to the bottom of the Ocean. Cameron will be taking his submarine to down to a depth of 35,800-foot-deep Mariana Trench near Guam.

Twelve men have walked on the surface of the moon and maybe 500 have traveled to space, but only [two] have visited the very deepest point of the ocean, which they reached on January 23, 1960.”Daily Mail, September 17, 2010

Avatar, Titanic, & The Abyss director James Cameron’s newest plan is to charge down to the bottom of the 35,800-foot-deep Mariana Trench near Guam.

James Cameron’s sub

The only people who have ever been to the bottom of the Mariana Trench are Jacques Piccard and US Navy Captian Don Walsh.  They chilled on the bottom for 20 minutes, saw a flounder and a shrimp and not much else as their vessel kicked up a ton of silt from the bottom.

“..the most hostile, most remote environment on the face of the planet.” – Andy Bowen, who drove an unmanned submarine around the Mariana Trench for 13 hours in 2009, describes the Mariana Trench

The bathyscaphe Trieste is the only vessel to have reached the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Did so in 1960. photo: US NHHC

The first expedition to the bottom of the Mariana Trench took 5 hours of descending to reach the bottom.  James plans on reaching the bottom in 90 minutes.  The plan:

“is to scream to the bottom as fast as possible, then work at the bottom with all lights blazing.”

James has already tested his submarine in a nearby trench and he went 5.1 miles down.  He was blown away by the jellyfish, tube worms, and sea anemones he saw.  That dive was the deepest solo submarine dive ever.

“I just saw this very ancient and very simple animal.  The thought that popped through my head was that God must have been proud the day that he created the jellyfish.” – James Cameron

 Jacques Piccard and US Navy Captian Don Walsh in the 2 meter diameter Trieste.  Photo: Steve Nicklas/NOS/NGS

James’ submarine has enough life support resources to maintain a 56 hour dive.


“It’s the last frontier for science and exploration on this planet.  It’s to draw public attention to the oceans and continued need for exploration as well as stewardship. It would be a good thing if we understand the oceans before we destroy the life that’s in them.” – James Cameron


“Thrown into this mix is the incentive of a $10 million X-Prize that will go to the first privately funded sub to make two repeat manned descents to Challenger Deep, which at a 36000 feet is the the deepest surveyed point in the oceans.” –


– James won’t tell anyone the cost

– We know it’s a lot…($40+ million?)

Mariana Trench cross section



– Spend 6 hours on the bottom filming an undersea documentary for National Geographic in 3-D

– Hopefully find some unreal animals that we can’t even wrap our heads around

 “Exploring the trenches is a view back in time because they are so isolated from the ocean and circulation”It’s inevitable that it’s going to reveal something about the biological history of the planet.” – Andy Bowen, Woods Hole submersible chief


– 12 tons

– 25 feet tall

– Check out the image below for more info:

The Deepsea Challenger


– More people have been to the moon than have been to the bottom of this trench

“Twelve men have walked on the surface of the moon and maybe 500 have traveled to space, but only [two] have visited the very deepest point of the ocean, which they reached on January 23, 1960.”—Daily Mail, September 17, 2010

– Deepest part of Earth’s ocean at 35,800 feet deep

– 1,580 miles long & 43 miles wide

– Deepest part of the trench is called Challenger Deep and is 35,800 feet deep

– Animals known in trench:  sea anemones, tube worms, sea cucumbers, shrip-like critters

– Pressure at the bottom of the trench is 1,086 bars (15,750 psi) or 1,000+ times the standard atmospheric pressure at sea level

– The Mariana Trench is NOT the part of the sea floor closest to the center of the Earth.  Earth is not a perfect shere.  Earth’s radius is around 16 miles less at the north and south pole.  Thus, zones in the Arctic Ocean sea floor are closer to Earth’s center than the Mariana Trench by about 8.1 miles.  

– Located near Guam in the Pacific Ocean (see map below)

– One Flounder & One Shrimp have been observed living in the bottom of the trench

Previous Descent:  “The Swiss-designed, Italian-built, United States Navy bathyscaphe Trieste reached the bottom at 1:06 p.m. on 23 January 1960, with U.S. Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard on board.  Iron shot was used for ballast, with gasoline for buoyancy. The onboard systems indicated a depth of 11,521 m (37,799 ft), but this was later revised to 10,916 m (35,814 ft).  At the bottom, Walsh and Piccard were surprised to discover sole or flounder about 30 cm (1 ft) long, as well as a shrimp.  According to Piccard, “The bottom appeared light and clear, a waste of firm diatomaceous ooze.””  –


– Sir Richard Branson is also planning a trip to Challenger Deep

Google founder Eric Schmidt also is funding a $40 million shot at the deepness via California company DOER Marine (they’re planning a more scientific researchy kinda trip)

Triton Submarines from Florida is gonna give is a go as well but we don’t think they’ll make is as they don’t have any celebrities involved

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