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View from the Mariana Trench, the deepest depths in the Western Pacific

TAKE A (VIRTUAL) TRIP TO THE MARIANA TRENCH

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If you’ve seen the 2018 action movie, The Meg (based on Steve Alten’s book series), then you might have found yourself curious about the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench, deeper than Mount Everest is high, at 36,201 feet. At this depth, it hasn’t seen much of human exploration, leading fiction authors to create all kinds of interesting storylines about what might be lurking in the depths … (Including a giant, prehistoric shark that is estimated to be up to 52 feet long, with teeth just over 7 inches in length.)

This fictional speculation has gotten people curious about the trench. Years ago, an average person’s ability to actually explore such an inaccessible place would have been limited to written reports and research.

Thankfully, technology has afforded everyone the chance to explore the very depths of the earth without us having to leave our living rooms. Here are some great resources for your own “trip” to the Mariana Trench.

Nekton Mission

This organization, whose goal is “improving the prosperity and sustainable governance” of ocean nations, has a collection of fascinating videos about – literally – everything under the sea. One of their most popular is Virtual Reality 360 film of Journey to the Deep. In this film, viewers get to experience what it’s like to descend to Challenger Deep, the deepest place on earth which is located in the Mariana Trench. The video is narrated by U.S. Navy Captain Don Walsh, who along with Swiss engineer Jacques Piccard, made the actual trip in 1960. Captain Walsh shares both educational information about the Mariana Trench, as well as his own experience during his expedition.

Schmidt Ocean Institute

This California-based nonprofit aims to explore the mysteries of the sea, scientifically examine what they find, and record as much data as possible to help uncover the mysteries of the deep. One of their projects is the exploration of the species that live in the Mariana Trench – a place where the pressure is so intense, it’s akin to having 100 elephants sitting on you. You can explore their blog for photos and videos of these amazing creatures.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

When it comes to ocean research, NOAA is leading the pack. Their website features dozens of videos and photos of amazing sights in the Mariana Trench.

For more virtual tours of this amazing planet, check out Make Use Of’s list of favorites

For more fun reads, check out the Olympus Corsair blog.

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