Underwater explorers say they've found plastic in deep ocean trench

Underwater explorers say they've found plastic in deep ocean trench

An announcement made Monday said that on May 1, the 53-year-old Vescovo descended 35,853 feet, or almost seven miles into the bottom of Challenger Deep, which is part of the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench, according to CNN.

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

Down there he found incredible sea creatures, but also found a plastic bag and sweet wrappers.

"Honestly, towards the end, I simply turned the thrusters off, leaned back in the cockpit, and enjoyed a tuna fish sandwich while I very slowly drifted just above the bottom of the deepest place on earth, enjoying the view and appreciating what the team had done technically", he recalls.

It was the third time humans have dived to the deepest point in the ocean, known as Challenger Deep.

The Five Deeps dive to Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean broke a new record.

The expedition's mission is to conduct detailed, sonar mapping missions at the five deepest spots in our oceans.

Robotic landers were also deployed for further analysis of the seafloor.

"It is nearly indescribable how excited all of us are about achieving what we just did", Vescovo told the BBC.

He explained the expedition "took marine technology to a ridiculously higher new level by diving - rapidly and repeatedly - into the deepest, harshest, area of the ocean".

Over four hours exploring the seabed of the trench he saw sea creatures, plastic bags and lolly wrappers.

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

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He also saw angular metal or plastic objects, one with writing on it.

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.

Victor Vescovo spent four hours exploring the bottom of the trench.

Scientists plan on testing the creatures collected on the expedition to see if they contain microplastics.

The dive forms part of the Five Deeps expedition - an attempt to explore the deepest points in each of the world's five oceans.

Vescovo says he's proud of these scientific finds - and also that the team's got a submersible that's up for the challenge.

The first deep dive into the Mariana Trench was in 1960, when U.S. Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh and Swiss engineer Jacques Piccard ventured into the deep abyss of the Pacific Ocean. The pressure at the bottom of the ocean is equal to about 50 jumbo jets piled on top of a person, according to BBC News.

As well as working under pressure, the sub has to operate in the pitch black and near freezing temperatures.

Victor Vescovo stands next to a submarine that he took to the deepest point on planet.

Filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron emerges from the Deepsea Challenger submersible after his successful solo dive to the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean, March 26, 2011.

Anthony Geffen, creative director of Atlantic Productions, said it was the most complicated filming he'd ever been involved with.

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