Deepest ever dive finds plastic bag at bottom of Mariana Trench

Victor Vescovo has successfully completed a solo dive in the Pacific Ocean to Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, commonly known as the deepest point on planet Earth.

During his four-hour excursion, Vescovo spotted new sea creatures - as well as a plastic bag and candy wrappers.

Previous studies have identified microplastics in the water we drink and the fish we eat, as well as researchers finding it in Antarctica's pristine waters.

They also collected samples of brightly-coloured rocky outcrops from the seabed.

Vescovo's team believes they have found four new prawn-like species at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

"It is nearly indescribable how excited all of us are about achieving what we just did", Mr Vescovo said after arriving in Guam after the completion of the dives.

An American explorer has broken the the record for the deepest ever dive. "This submarine and its mother ship. took marine technology to a ridiculously higher new level by diving-rapidly and repeatedly-into the deepest, harshest, area of the ocean".

An object described by a spokesperson for the Five Deeps Mariana expedition as "manmade" is illuminated at top right by the light of the submarine DSV Limiting Factor on the floor of the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench, in an undated still image from video released by the Discovery Channel May 13, 2019.

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These conditions also made it challenging to capture footage - the Five Deeps expedition has been followed by Atlantic Productions for a documentary for the Discovery Channel.

"It was very disappointing to see obvious human contamination of the deepest point in the ocean", Vescovo said in an interview.

He spent four hours exploring the bottom of the trench in his sub, built to withstand the vast pressure of the deep ocean.

It's the deepest place in the ocean.

The Five Deeps is the underwater equivalent of climbing the Seven Summits, which is reaching the tallest peaks on all seven continents. They also found pollution. Canadian movie maker James Cameron was the last to visit in 2012 in his submarine, reaching a depth of 10,908 metres.

Before Cameron's dive, the first-ever expedition to Challenger Deep was made by the US Navy in 1960, reaching a depth of 10,912 meters. Vescovo is planning to complete his historic expedition in late August when he dives the Molloy Deep in the Arctic Ocean.

As well as the Mariana Trench in the Pacific, in the last six months dives have also taken place in the Puerto Rico Trench in the Atlantic Ocean (8,376m), the South Sandwich Trench in the Southern Ocean (7,433m) and the Java Trench in Indian Ocean (7,192m).

At the deepest point, they were accompanied by some transparent bottom-dwelling sea cucumbers (Holothurians) and an amphipod called the Hirondellia gigas.

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