Frames from the vid.
On his 12-hour trip to the bottom he saw arrowtooth eels, fish with transparent heads, ghostly snailfish, and lolly wrappers . . .
14 May 19
Victor Vescovo, a retired naval officer, descended nearly 11 kilometres (10,928 metres) to a point in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench that is the deepest place on Earth.
His dive went 16 metres lower than the previous deepest descent in the trench in 1960.
Vescovo found undiscovered species as he visited places no human had gone before.
On one occasion he spent four hours on the floor of the trench, viewing sea life ranging from shrimp-like anthropods with long legs and antennae to translucent "sea pigs" similar to a sea cucumber.
The Texan investor and explorer also found something he could have found in the gutter of nearly any street in the world - rubbish.
He also saw angular metal or plastic objects, a plastic bag and sweet wrappers.
"It was very disappointing to see obvious human contamination of the deepest point in the ocean," Vescovo said on arrival in Guam. "We feel like we have just created, validated, and opened a powerful door to discover and visit any place, any time, in the ocean – which is 90 per cent unexplored."
Plastic waste has reached epidemic proportions in the world's oceans with an estimated 100 million tonnes dumped there to date, according to the United Nations.
Scientists have found large amounts of micro plastic in the guts of deep- dwelling ocean mammals like whales.
Vescovo hoped his discovery of rubbish in the Mariana Trench would raise awareness about dumping in the oceans and pressure governments to better enforce existing regulations, or put new ones in place.
"It's not a big garbage collection pool, even though it's treated as such," Vescovo said of the worlds' oceans.
In the last three weeks, the expedition has made four dives in the Mariana Trench in his submarine 'DSV Limiting Factor' collecting biological and rock samples.
It was the third time humans have dived to the deepest point in the ocean, known as Challenger Deep.
Canadian movie maker James Cameron was the last to visit in 2012 in his submarine, reaching a depth 10,908 metres.
Prior to Cameron's dive, the first-ever expedition to Challenger Deep was made by the US Navy in 1960, reaching a depth of 10,912 metres.
- AUTHOR: DANIEL FASTENBERG
- SOURCE: THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD