Guam – Filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer James Cameron will be launching an expedition to the bottom of the Marianas Trench sometime in the coming days.
While Cameron will be the only person to descend the trench in his specially designed submarine, the scientific exploration will include a number of players including the University of Guam. The UOG Marine Lab will be assisting Scripp’s Institution of Oceanography
“We are facilitating what the scientists are doing and right now they are coming in all of today [Monday] and they will be housed up in the Marine Lab,” UOG Marine Lab Director Dr. Laurie Raymundo told PNC. “They’re going to be setting up their remote control vehicles which will be launched at the same time that Jim Cameron launches his sub. And so we’re basically providing them with the space with our tool shed, with our techs with our trucks just logistical support.”
Dr. Raymundo says she won’t be surprised if new species are discovered as a result of the expedition to the deepest part of the Trench.
“We don’t really know what grows down there I mean we can speculate what sorts of families and phyla of organisms grow down there but we.don’t have a lot of experience with that and also the mid-depths,” Dr Raymundo explained.
Cameron will be the first man to descend to the depths of the trench since 1960 and the first do it alone.
1960 explorers U.S. Navy Lt. Don Walsh and Swiss Oceanographer Jacques Piccard were only able to spend twenty minutes on the ocean floor; with today’s technology Cameron hopes to get six hours of bottom time.