10 curious things you can find in Mariana Trench

You won’t be surprised that we have detailed maps of almost everything in our solar system – the Moon, Mars, even Uranus. But one place which we know very poorly, is closer to us than any planet or satellite – ocean floor. Despite the fact that it just a few kilometers from us, we only mapped about five percent of the seabed. It represents for us a great a secret than even Pluto.

10 curious things to be found in the Mariana TrenchA photo from open sources

The deepest part of our ocean, the Mariana Trench, more known than the rest of the ocean floor, although we are still almost don’t know anything about her. With a depth of 11 kilometers and with incredible pressure at the very bottom, the trough is quite disastrous place for anyone who dares to go down there and make up a card.

But thanks to modern technology and a few daredevils, who explored the cavity, risking their lives, we are still something about it we know. Therefore, if you are ever in the mood to go down into the Mariana Trench, that’s what you can find there.

Incredibly hot water

A photo from open sources

If you are going to dive 11 kilometers deep, water it will become extremely cold very quickly. At such a depth, the temperature water is just above zero, from 1 to 4 degrees Celsius. But grab clothes for all seasons will also have to.

Summer is especially useful – when you get closer to hydrothermal springs at a depth of about 1.6 kilometers. IN a world where water is one step from turning into ice, there is several geysers that heat water to about 450 degrees Celsius. Water from these holes (also known as black smokers “) shoots tons of minerals that help prosper life in this area. Creatures that pleased born in the Mariana Trench, these minerals and geyser energy, since at such a depth not a single ray of the sun does not break through the water column. They are forced to swim near hot water or perish.

Despite the high temperature, this water does not boil. It’s related with intense pressure (155 times more than on the surface). At high pressure boiling point is increasing.

Giant poisonous amoeba

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If you saw a newborn puppy, approximately 10 centimeters in length, your first reaction was very cheerful and for sure full of tenderness. But if you see a 10-centimeter amoeba, you you’ll probably quickly pick up a suitcase and drive away, holding back a scream.

In the Mariana Trench, such amoebas are everywhere. They are called “xenophiophores”. And although they are unicellular, they became large precisely due to cold temperature, high pressure and lack sunshine. It was these parameters that caused the nightmare the size of the amoeba.

In addition, these amoeba are immune to many elements and chemicals that would kill most of the species on The earth. Absorbing minerals and particles from water, xenophiophores developed immunity even to uranium, mercury, lead and many other very harmful substances.

These amoeba were once discovered at a depth of 10.6 kilometers, but no one will be surprised if one day they are found even deeper.

Pure liquid carbon dioxide

A photo from open sources

Most hydrothermal springs we talked about previously, do not throw anything but hot water. But one such a geyser instead of water releases pure liquid carbon dioxide.

Outside of the Okinawa Trough near Taiwan there is a Champagne Geyser in Mariana Trench, the only known area under water where there is liquid carbon dioxide. Discovered in early 2005, the geyser got its name because of the bubbles, which at first the gaze seemed harmless. Upon closer inspection, it turned out that these bubbles are CO2.

Although the absorption of pure carbon dioxide will become fatal to many of us, it seems that such geysers are, by the way, “white smokers “- because of their low temperature, they could be a source life itself. The old theory of “primordial broth” states that life started in deep waters near similar hydrothermal sources. Champagne provides an abundance of chemicals, energy and all this at low temperature – the perfect recipe for the formation and prosperity of life.


A photo from open sources

Powerful water pressure in the Mariana Trench prevents survival anything with a hard shell or bones, so it’s full sea ​​cucumbers and giant amoebas. If you take the turtle there, she will be crushed by her own “house”.

However, recently covered shells animals like mollusks. They were found in 2012 mainly near hydrothermal springs from a coil. The stone coil is rich in minerals important for life, hydrogen and methane, which allows life to flourish near it. No one yet knows how mollusks have grown their shells under such pressure, and they don’t speak either.

Nevertheless, these sources exude another gas, hydrogen sulfide. – which under normal conditions is fatal to mollusks. Fortunately for of them, they have developed the ability to bind sulfides into harmless proteins, thereby reducing their toxicity to zero.

James Cameron

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Yes, the man who shot The Titanic. One of the most famous directors in the world is a fan of ocean life and even equipped his own expedition to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Since opening in 1875, the deepest part of the Depression, known as Challenger Deep, has hosted as many as three people (compare: twelve people visited the moon). First two, don Walsh and Jacques Picard, reached the bottom of January 23, 1960. Because the their ship was called Challenger, respectively designated and subdued depth. Where did the Deep come from, no one knows.

More than 52 years passed before another researcher ventured go down into the cold waters, although he was a simple director. 26 March 2012, Cameron went down to the bottom of the hollow and made several photos, first shots of the Challenger Deep.


A photo from open sources

What does land under water look like? Most likely a bunch of wet sand. But if you go deeper and deeper, the earth will be vary greatly. The fact is that everything in the Mariana Trench flows down to the bottom, forming a blanket of unsightly viscous silt.

Sand, as we know it, is actually not there. On his place, ahem, there is only death. More precisely, her footprints. Bottom of the Depression consists of crushed shells and corpses of plankton, which descended to the bottom for many years. Due to the huge with water pressure, everything ever turns grayish yellow, almost silky silt. Given the lifetime of the Depression (many scientists believe that this is the oldest place in the ocean), you can only wonder how deep the muddy bottom goes down before the earth itself begins.

Liquid sulfur

A photo from open sources

The underwater volcano Daikoku is located in approximately 40 atmospheres (414 meters) down the Depression. Given its depth of 11 kilometers, this not particularly impressive. But daikoku contains one of the rarest attractions on the planet – clean molten lake sulfur. The only analogue of such a lake is on Io, the satellite Jupiter. But we’re unlikely to get there.

Called the “Cauldron” for obvious reasons, this pit is bubbling. black mixture at a temperature of 187 degrees Celsius. She is not yet studied in detail, but the white smoke coming from one of the surrounding craters shows that there can be more than one “cauldron”. But if so, life could well have originated in Mariana in the hollow.

According to Gaia’s hypothesis, the old and criticized view of the world, the whole planet is a single and self-regulatory essence when organic life and inorganic minerals coming together to support the life of the planet. Of course, in many ways it’s a myth, but scientists believe that sulfur entering the atmosphere goes through a cycle and gives life valuable minerals. That is, even sulfur could be the reason for sustaining life on Earth.


A photo from open sources

At the end of 2011, four were discovered in the Mariana Trench stone bridges extending from one end to the other (approximately 69 kilometers). Apparently, the bridges were formed by the meeting Pacific and Philippine tectonic plates. Pacific the stove eventually collided with the Philippine stove, and underwater materials on both sides collided with each other, having formed what we see today.

One of the bridges, Dutton Ridge, was discovered back in the 1980s, but was shot only in low resolution. However, this helped determine that dutton ridge is incredibly tall, almost like a small mountain. At its highest peak, its ridge reaches a height of 2.5 kilometers above the Challenger Deep. That is, he is on 8 km deep.

Like many other aspects of the Depression, these bridges serve unknown goals. After all, not many underwater creatures uses bridges.


A photo from open sources

Unfortunately, so far no one has erected a statue in the Mariana Trench or an underwater hotel for tourists. But the Depression itself represents a monument, a reserve, a client of the United States.

In January 2009, President George W. Bush signed into law, designating the Mariana Trench a national monument, spanning over 246 thousand square kilometers. This is the most the largest marine reserve in the world, even larger than the Marine Papahanaumokuakea National Monument.

Since this is a national monument, they work strict visiting rules. Fishing is strictly prohibited, therefore you can’t catch amoebas. Swimming is allowed, but not below the buoys to swim.


A photo from open sources

Of course, we are not going to say that in the Mariana there is nothing at all in the hollow. That would be stupid considering everything we mentioned so far. Neither a giant amoeba, nor a fancy fish, which you can meet on the way down will not prepare you for to what you find below: absolutely nothing.

While James Cameron plunged into the Challenger Deep in 2012, he watched everything he wanted before mechanical damage made him return to the surface. While he was there, he came to the shocking conclusion: in addition to random shrimp, its constant companion was loneliness. In the Mariana Trench there are no terrible sea ​​monsters, miracles of evolution or cruel and beautiful manifestations of nature in all its primitiveness. There was only James and a small metal ball that nobody had to talk.

As Cameron himself said, the very bottom of the ocean is “lunar … empty … closed … “and at the bottom of the trench the director felt isolated from all of humanity. Given what we saw in the depths ocean, the fact that at the bottom there is no last boss with whom You can talk one on one, surprising. Let’s hope that future dives in the Challenger Deep will show at least one tentacle sleeping under a pile of silt Cthulhu.

Water Life Moon Mariana Trench Bridges

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