Rubbish seen littering ocean floor during deepest-ever sub dive

Victor Vescovo believes he found plastic in Mariana Trench at depth of nearly 11km

Man-made rubbish was found 6.8miles under the sea in the deepest dive ever made by a human inside. Video: Reuters/ Atlantic Productions for Discovery Channel

 

On the deepest dive ever made by a human inside a submarine, a man found something he could have found on nearly any street in the world: rubbish.

Victor Vescovo, a retired naval officer from Texas, made the discovery as he descended 10.928km (35,853ft) 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 16m lower than the previous deepest descent into the trench, which happened in 1960.

The Skaff lander floats next to the research vessel DSSV Pressure Drop above the Pacific Oceans’s Mariana Trench. Photograph: Atlantic Productions for Discovery Channel via Reuters.
The Skaff lander floats next to the research vessel DSSV Pressure Drop above the Pacific Oceans’s Mariana Trench. Photograph: Atlantic Productions for Discovery Channel via Reuters.

Mr 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 Five Deeps Expedition.

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

An object described by the Five Deeps Mariana expedition as ‘manmade’ is illuminated at top right of the image by the light of the submarine DSV Limiting Factor on the floor of the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench. Photograph: Atlantic Productions for Discovery Channel via Reuters.
An object described by the Five Deeps Mariana expedition as ‘manmade’ is illuminated at top right of the image by the light of the submarine DSV Limiting Factor on the floor of the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench. Photograph: Atlantic Productions for Discovery Channel via Reuters.

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.

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

Canadian film maker James Cameron was the last to visit in 2012 in his submarine, reaching a depth of 35,787 ft (10.908km).

Prior to Cameron’s dive, the first-ever expedition to Challenger Deep was made by the US Navy in 1960, reaching a depth of 10.912km. - Reuters