Man makes deepest-ever dive in Mariana Trench and discovers … litter | World news | The Guardian

A retired naval officer dove in a submarine nearly 36,000ft into the deepest place on Earth, only to find what appears to be plastic

On the deepest dive ever made by a human inside a submarine, a Texas investor found something he could have found in the gutter of nearly any street in the world: litter.

Victor Vescovo, a retired naval officer, made the unsettling discovery as he descended nearly 35,853ft (10,927 meters) to a point in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench that is the deepest place on Earth, his expedition said in a statement on Monday. His dive went 52ft (16 meters) lower than the previous deepest descent in the trench in 1960.

Undersea explorer Victor Vescovo pilots the submarine DSV Limiting Factor in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench.
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 Undersea explorer Victor Vescovo pilots the submarine DSV Limiting Factor in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench. Photograph: HANDOUT/Reuters

Vescovo, the Dallas-based co-founder of Insight Equity Holdings, a private equity fund, found the manmade material on the ocean floor and is trying to confirm that it is plastic, said Stephanie Fitzherbert, a spokeswoman for Vescovo’s Five Deeps Expedition.

Plastic waste has reached epidemic proportions with an estimated 100m tonnes of it now found in the world’s oceans, according to the United Nations.

In the last three weeks, the expedition has made four dives in the Mariana Trench in his submarine, DSV Limiting Factor, collecting biological and rock samples.

A technician checks the submarine DSV Limiting Factor.
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 A technician checks the submarine DSV Limiting Factor. Photograph: HANDOUT/Reuters

Prior to Cameron’s dive, the first-ever expedition to Challenger Deep was made by the US Navy in 1960, reaching a depth of 35,800ft (10,912 meters).

Source: Man makes deepest-ever dive in Mariana Trench and discovers … litter | World news | The Guardian

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