Mariana Trench

The Mariana Trench is a crescent-shaped trench located in the western Pacific, just east of the Mariana Islands near Guam. The region surrounding the trench is very remarkable and is the cradle for many unique environments. The Mariana Trench contains the deepest points on Earth, bubbling vents of liquid sulfur and carbon dioxide, active mud volcanoes, and marine life adapted to pressures a thousand times greater than sea level. The Mariana Trench is the deepest place you can find in the ocean. Its depth is difficult to measure from the surface, but modern estimates vary by less than 1,000 feet.

Discovery

In 1860, Charles Wyville Thomson, wanted to make a boat trip to conduct oceanographic studies. On December 21, 1872, he sailed on the HMS Challenger, a modified warship for the voyage carrying everything from fishing gear to microscopes. The main objective was to travel the oceans to measure depth, temperature and salinity. On March 23, 1875, while the team was conducting studies near the Mariana Islands, the sea literally swallowed 8 kilometers of a measuring line they were carrying. It was at that moment that the researchers had managed to discover the abyss. In the nineteenth century, it was discovered that there was a place where no one had yet arrived, the deepest place that existed in the ocean, known as the black hole or the Mariana Trench. In 2012, the first expedition was made by James Cameron, who was the first person in charge of continuing studies on the grave.

Characteristics

The main characteristics of the Mariana Trench are as follows:

  • It is considered to be the deepest area in the oceans.
  • It is located in the Pacific Ocean, east of the Mariana Islands.
  • They coincide with a subduction zone, a place where two tectonic plates collide.
  • It is approximately 2,550 kilometers long and 69 kilometers wide.
  • The deepest part of the pit is known as the Challenger Abyss.
  • They have an amount of water equivalent to 1000 times more than the earth has.
  • It lacks illumination.

Location

The Mariana Trench is located in the Pacific Ocean, east of the well-known Mariana Islands. It lies at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, on the north western side, east and south of the islands. It has 11° 21´ north latitude and 142° 12´de east longitude, near Guam, a place located between the coast of Indonesia and China.

Fauna & Fauna

Image taken by James Cameron’s Odyssey

In 2016, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration carried out an expedition with the aim of trying to gather information on the area. Some of the creatures they found are:

  • Bellota worms: it is a mollusk with a snail shell. It is considered as a new species, although there is no idea about its geology, habitat or origin.
  • Elf Shark: Its color is pink, and its consistency is very viscous. They are capable of growing several meters.
  • Dumbo Octopus: The most eye-catching thing are their jumped eyes and their furrowed mouth. It can swallow its prey whole.
  • Dragon Fish: Its teeth are large, and it is a hunter by nature. It has no scales and its skin is slippery, very similar to an eel.
  • Eel Shark: Its body is rounded, and its head flattened, it is very similar to a dinosaur. Apparently it has been living for 80 million years. It has 20 rows of teeth and gills in its body.

Challenger’s Abyss

At 10,994 meters deep, it is considered the deepest point in the ocean. Its name was given in 1872. Only one man has managed to reach 10,898 meters in the submarine Deepsea ChallengerJames Cameron. He described the trench as an environment very much like a lunar desert. The only thing he could see were blind worms that had adapted to the situation. In 2013, scientists discovered that the abyss was full of life. onar beams sent to the ocean floor are updated many times per second, and verified by Global Positioning Satellites. These maps clearly indicate the Mariana Trench as the deepest of its kind, and so far the Challenger Deep is its lowest measured point.