What Would a Trip to the Mariana Trench Be Like?

Ever wanted to take a dive into the deepest parts of the ocean?

Well, today you’re gonna have this opportunity!

Now, how good are you at holding your breath?

Not that good?

Well not to worry.

Hop on board of my submersible craft and join me in the voyage to the depths!


Let’s dive!

Right now, just below the surface, you see that life is thriving here.

Fish and marine animals abound, and — hey there! — swimmers are waving at us.

But we won’t be staying here for long.


At 65 ft, there’s a whole new world opening before your eyes: shallow coral reefs are

standing beautifully not far from the shore.

And hey, there are people here again!

It’s scuba divers this time, though.

Water pressure isn’t kind to divers without special equipment.

130 ft is the depth where we say goodbye even to recreational scuba divers — it’s the

maximum allowed for them.

Take care, guys!

200 ft — and here’s the first orca!

These whales inhabit the relatively shallow waters of almost every sea and ocean in the


Did you know they’re the apex predators, by the way?

It means they have no natural enemies and no one can take them down.

At 230 ft we meet whale sharks — the largest known fish species, weighing up to 60 tons.

And they’re also quite long-livers: well yeah I guess their livers are long at that,

but actually it’s about their life expectancy: they can live about 130 years.

Now look outside: if you see a scuba diver, it’s a real pro, because at 330 ft they’ll

have to be very cautious not to get decompression sickness.

It occurs if you rise too quickly to the surface.

And if you’re lucky, you can also see a giant Pacific octopus — it dwells in cool

waters starting this deep and going down as far as 6,600 ft.

And now we’re entering the dark part of the ocean: at 490 ft, just 1% of the light

from the surface reaches us.

All the rest is absorbed by water.

Everything that’s deeper will get darker and darker still.

Oh, look!

At 660 ft, there’s a giant oarfish circling our submersible.

These creatures are believed to be the source of all sea serpent sightings, and a lot of


Sometimes they swim up to the surface and freak out sailors and swimmers.

No wonder: these fish can reach 36 ft in length — enough to scare the heck out of me, for


Okay, now we’re at 980 ft and… wait, what’s that huge and gangling thing out there?

Oh, I get it, it’s a Japanese spider crab!

Why a spider, you ask?

Well, just look at those legs and the answer will come to you without further prompts.

By the way, there’s almost nothing more to them than legs: the body of such a crab

is normally just 1.5 ft across.

Going deeper now, and at 1,640 ft you’re going to see the last of the blue whales — no,

not really the last of them, I mean, that’s the deepest they can swim.

They don’t really need to dive that deep for food, which they have in abundance in

shallower waters, but they still can.

I guess it’s just for the sake of showing how awesome they are.

After all, they’re the largest creatures in the history of Earth — both in the sea

and on land!


You hear this?

These are the sounds fin whales are making to talk to their friends many miles away.

They can do this thanks to the SOFAR channel, or Deep Sea Channel, that generally starts

at 1,970 ft, but can vary in depth.

It’s a layer of water where the speed of sound is at its minimum, and sound waves can

go thousands of miles before disappearing.

At the depth of 2,723 ft we have reached the point where the Burj Khalifa, the tallest

building in the world, would not even show its tip on the surface if it were put underwater.

Hey let’s try that!

Now we’re entering the really interesting part of the ocean, where no sunlight reaches

us, and strange creatures dwell.

One of those is the giant squid — yes, that legendary type.

It inhabits the depths of 2,950 ft.

Just imagine the creature with eyes the size of frisbees!

Sperm whales hunt down these beasts, but they certainly can fight back.

What a sight it would be to see such an encounter!

And that’s where pitch darkness finally falls on us.

The Midnight Zone.

The pressure here is so huge that, if you somehow end up being here without a submersible,

you’ll simply be crushed in a couple of seconds.

And that without seeing a thing too.

Not the best of prospects.

Anyway, at 3,600 ft, there’s West Mata — one of the deepest ocean volcanoes in the world.

Its last eruption was in 2009, and it was even filmed by a remotely operated vehicle!

4,200 ft down below, and we see the ferocious great white sharks — these ultimate predators

feel great at such a depth.

Their eyesight is rather poor, and they navigate by scent, so they don’t really need sunlight

to hunt down their prey.

“I don’t see you, but I’ll still eat you.”


Also, the leatherback turtles, the largest turtles in the world, dive at the same depth.

I wonder if they do it to tease the great whites?

See those huge nets?

That’s because we’re now at the depth of 4,900 ft where the “catch-all” fishing

method is used.

The nets are here to be dragged along the ocean floor, catching everything unfortunate

enough to be caught.

I’ll let you decide how detrimental this is to the ocean life here.

At 6,000 ft, if we were in the Grand Canyon, we’d be sitting at its lowest and deepest


Imagine that all of its crevasses have been thoroughly filled with water, and you’ll

get the perfect picture.

Now, if we’re really careful, then at the depth of 6,600 ft, we’ll be able to see

the black dragonfish — a nightmarish creature that dwells in the deep and dark parts of

the ocean.

And trust me, it’s better off staying right there!

It looks like something from a horror movie, and I’d rather it never crossed my path.

At 7,400 ft we’ll be saying goodbye to sperm whales — this is the deepest point they

can dive, and frankly, they have no real business at such a depth.

Maybe they hunt the black dragonfish, of course, or… it hunts them?

Nah, the difference in size is too big: sperm whales can reach 62 ft in length, which makes

them the largest toothed whales in the world.

Not many creatures can counter that.

It’s good that our submersible has a powerful floodlight — without it, we wouldn’t have

been able to see the astonishing beauty of the deep-sea coral reefs located at the depth

of 9,900 ft.

They can be found in every ocean, and it’s a pity they can’t be seen without special

deep-sea diving equipment.

Okay, going deeper still, and at 12,100 ft we reach the average depth of the World Ocean.

From now on, the journey into the real depths begins — the general ocean floor has been

passed, so now it’s time to delve into the Abyss.

I won’t tell you not to be afraid because the scariest creatures of the deep dwell here,

below the Midnight Zone.

And it doesn’t end there: the pressure on the upper limit of the Abyss, at 13,100 ft,

is like a whole regiment of elephants stomping on you.

Not that you’d have the time to feel it, though.

At 15,000 ft, the monsters out of your worst nightmares pop up.

Anglerfish, for example, will scare the heck out of anyone — its long and crooked teeth

along with a growth on its head that lures the prey are enough to instill fear even in

the bravest.

But perhaps even more terrible is the creature called the black swallower.

It’s an eel-like beast that has a very stretchy stomach, and it can swallow prey that’s

twice its size!

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather switch off the lights not to see anything

this deep in the ocean.


You want to see it all?

….Alright, if you insist…

Look down below and you’re gonna see the deepest shipwreck ever found: SS Rio Grande

in the South Atlantic sunk in 1941 and went as low as 18,900 ft.

No wonder it was only found 55 years later!

And now the deepest and darkest part of the ocean begins: we’re diving into the Mariana


Officially, it begins at about 19,700 ft deep.

It’s both the least explored and the most fascinating area for the scientists and adventurers


What lies at the bottom of it?

Well, we’re about to see, but while we’re not yet there, I’ll show you something else.

For example, here’s the deepest fish ever found: it’s called a snailfish, and it dwells

at 26,000 ft.

Its body is translucent, so you can actually see right through its skin.

Well, I must say I’m glad we didn’t turn off the lights, after all — this little

guy is surprisingly cute for a creature that can withstand such pressure.

Going lower and deeper, you won’t see any other kind of fish or vertebrate animal whatsoever

— the pressure is just too much for such creatures.

But there are shrimps and other invertebrates — not to mention microbes — that can dwell

even in the deepest part of the ocean.

And that part is the Challenger Deep.

It’s the bottom of the Mariana trench, and its depth is 35,853 ft.

Yes, we’ve arrived at the very bottom of the Earth.

Few people have been here, and very little is known about it yet.

But scientists aren’t going to stop, and there’s hope we’ll soon find out what

secrets the depths of the ocean hold.

How about you?

Would you dare explore the ocean on your own, if you had a chance?

Let me know down in the comments!

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