An American undersea explorer has completed what is claimed to be the deepest manned sea dive ever recorded — returning to the surface with the depressing news that there’s plastic trash down there.
Victor Vescovo journeyed 10,927 meters (35,853 feet) to the bottom of the Challenger Deep , the southern end of the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench, as part of a mission to chart the world’s deepest underwater places.
Making multiple trips nearly 11 kilometers, or seven miles, to the ocean floor — one of them four hours in duration — Vescovo set a record for the deepest solo dive in history, his team said. The previous record was held by “Titanic” director James Cameron in 2012.
As well as four new species that could offer clues about the origins of life on Earth, Vescovo observed a plastic bag and candy wrappers at the deepest point on the planet.
Details of the voyage, made May 1, were released for the first time on Monday.
Vescovo, a 53-year-old financier with a naval background, tells CNN Travel his journey to the depths was about testing the limits of human endeavor as much as scientific discovery.
“Going to the extremes I believe is a natural inclination of man,” Vescovo he says.
“I think it is a wonderful part of human nature that makes us want to push ourselves to the limits, which has helped propel us as a species to where we are now.”