Mariana Trench | In Pursuit of the Abyss

updated 21 Mar 2023

Mariana Trench | In Pursuit of the Abyss

The infamous Mariana Trench sits like a crescent shaped dent in the floor of the pacific. 2,550 KM Long, 69 KM Wide fracture in the earth that is pure black void. Home of the deepest location on the earth. It is formed by subduction in plate techtonics. One plate sliding underneath another. It is a reverse mountain. The water at the bottom of the trench is freezing cold, highly acidic, and under immense pressure.

In Pursuit of the Abyss

In 1960, 85 years after the abyss was discovered, Jaque Picard and Navy LT Don Walsh hoped in the tiny vessel the Trieste, went on a 5 hour journey to the Bottom. The water pressure near the bottom was 1000 times great then sea level atmospheric pressure. At the bottom the viewing window cracked, limiting there time on the bottom to only 20 minutes. What they found at the bottom shocked the world, life. Pale Shrimp and Flounder like fish, with a brown ooze covering the ocean floor.

Aluminum Crabs

During one mission to the Challanger deep, anthropods were discovered. Usually anthropods calcium shells cannot standup to pressure below a certain depth. But during one trip, a group of anthropods were found snacking on a dead fish. When the animals were studied more closely, it was discovered that the anthropods were consuming aluminum in there diet when eating bacteria off the sea floor, and it was being re-dristributed to the exo skeleton from their gut.