Journey to the ocean depths with new VR film

Web Log: Nekton deep sea project now on YouTube

On 23 January 1960, US Navy captain Don Walsh and Swiss engineer Jacques Piccard became the first people to descend to the deepest depths of the world’s oceans: the bottom of the Pacific Ocean trench. This historic moment aboard the Swiss-built US Navy bathyscaphe, Trieste, was not repeated until Titanic director James Cameron made the same journey in 2012. Although Cameron did not quite reach the depth of 10,911m, a record that remains unbroken to this day.

To mark its 57-year anniversary, marine research charity Nekton has released on YouTube the fully-immersive 360-degree VR (Virtual Reality) film Journey to the Deep allowing anyone to take the same seven-mile trip to the ocean floor, albeit in 10 minutes rather than five hours. Narrated by Walsh (now 85), this 360 VR film can be viewed or explored using a smartphone and VR headset or on a laptop using the keyboard to navigate.

Journey to the Deep brings you past the twilight and midnight and past various bioluminescent deep sea creatures as you hear the creaking of the vessel hull under water pressure that equates to the weight of 30 jumbo jets sitting on top of your head. A rare combination of thrilling and educational.