Hollywood Director is the Second Human to Explore the Deepest Parts of the Ocean


James Cameron, famous director of movies like Titanic and Avatar, successfully completed his journey to the remotest part of the world’s oceans, the 11 km deep Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean. He went down alone in a kind of submarine called The Deepsea Challenger. It was only the second time a human being had ever gone down to the bottom of the world’s deepest oceans.

The first expedition, led by Swiss scientist Jacques Piccard and US Navy Captain Don Walsh, took place in 1960. They went down in a bathyscaphe named Trieste and spent 20 minutes on the ocean floor.However, they could not report much because their vessel kicked up a lot of sand and their sight was therefore disturbed. In the following decades only unmanned probes were sent to the bottom of the trench. The Mariana Trench is gigantic, over a hundred times larger than the Grand Canyon and deeper than the height of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest. Temperatures in this pitch black environment are just a few degrees above freezing.

Cameron spent three hours surveying the ocean floor and taking pictures with special cameras. Then it took him 70 minutes to come back to the surface. The Hollywood director had always wanted to go down to the depths of the world’s oceans. He finally made his childhood dream, financed by himself and National Geographic, come true.

The Deepsea Challenger is a special construction, made solely for the journey by Cameron and his team. It is made out of thick steel that can withstand the pressure of the ocean in a depth of 11 km.  The submarine also has steel arms that can gather rocks and other material from the ocean’s floor.

When Cameron’s pictures and rock samples are released scientists hope to get new data and information on life that can live in such deep water and under such enormous pressure.  Such trenches are on the border lines between geologic plates. Experts hope to get new insights on what happens down there during earthquakes.


Cameron wants to use this expedition as a starting platform for further ocean exploration. He may be laying the foundation for other teams who want to explore the ocean’s unknown places. Another adventurer, Richard Branson, has already started work on a plane-like machine that can fly down to the ocean floor. A Florida-based company is planning on building submarines with special glass windows that can take tourists down to the darkest parts of the sea.



Related Topics


  • adventurer = a person who likes to go on fascinating and dangerous trips
  • bathyscaphe = a kind of submarine that is used to travel to the ocean floor
  • complete = finish
  • data = information
  • decade = ten years
  • degree = unit for measuring temperature
  • depth = deepness
  • disturbed = not clear
  • enormous = very big
  • environment = surrounding, location
  • exploration = examination; studying
  • explore = to travel to places that nobody had gone to before
  • finally = at last
  • finance = to give money to a project
  • Florida-based = at home in Florida
  • foundation = basis
  • further = more
  • gather = collect
  • gigantic = very big
  • height = how high something is
  • however = but
  • insight = a clearer understanding of something
  • journey = trip
  • lead – led = guide, to show the way
  • pitch black = completely black or dark
  • pressure = weight
  • probe = a machine that is sent on a trip
  • release = to make public; show to everyone
  • remote = distant, faraway
  • sample = the material that has been collected
  • scientist = a person who is trained in science and works in a laboratory
  • sight = view
  • solely = only
  • steel = strong metal that can be shaped easily
  • submarine = ship that can stay under water for a longer time
  • successful = to finish what you wanted to
  • surface = the top part of the ocean
  • survey = study , examine
  • trench = a deep valley in the ocean
  • unmanned = without people
  • vessel = here: the bathyscaphe
  • withstand = hold out, survive