Avatar Director Prepares To Journey Into The Deepest Of Seas

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Almost everyone knows that director James Cameron is the genius behind two of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters - Titanic and Avatar. What they don't know is that he is an expert diver who has filmed two underwater documentaries - Ghosts of the Abyss (about the real Titanic) and Aliens of the Deep.

Now, the 57-year old Canadian is getting ready for his biggest adventure yet - To journey down into the Ocean's deepest known point. Located in the Mariana Trench, a 1,500-mile long scar in the Pacific seafloor, the Challenger Deep is a 6.8-mile long opening, that has been visited only once before, by a two-person crew from the U.S. Navy in 1960.

However, while the now-retired U.S. Navy Captain Don Walsh and Swiss engineer Jacques Piccard, did get to the bottom in their submersible Trieste, they lasted there for only 20 minutes, and, their view was entirely obscured by the silt they stirred up when trying to land.

Mr. Cameron is not only planning to do the trip solo but also, stay there for six hours collecting samples of flora and fauna from the sea floor and doing what he does best - Filming a documentary with the help of 3-D high definition cameras and an 8-foot tall array of LED lights.

He will make this historic trip inside the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, a 24-foot tall submersible that has been designed such that it sinks upright. Eight years in the making, the craft that is made from a special foam, and at 12 metric tons is 12 times lighter than the Trieste, is not only the world's deepest-diving submersible currently in operation but also, the first deepest diving single-pilot submersible every made.

Mr. Cameron is currently performing some test dives to ensure that the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER is working as it was designed to. His first test occurred on Tuesday, March 6th when he sank into oceans off Papua New Guinea- going down 5.1 miles underwater - deeper than any human has been before, solo.

His next test will be undertaken off the U.S. island territory of Guam, about 200 miles northeast of his final destination - the Challenger Deep. If all goes well, the adventurous man will finally venture into what many scientists believe is the last unexplored frontier on Earth.

However, the trip which is expected to take about an hour and a half each way is not going to be very comfortable. Similar to the first astronauts that went to space, Mr. Cameron will be squeezed into a 43-inch wide pilot sphere - One that he will share with his emergency snacks, equipment and a change of clothing. What's worse is that he will be even more cramped on his trip back. That's because thanks to the intense water pressure, experts expect the submersible to shrink by 2.5 inches, as it heads down.

While Mr. Cameron will not be able to get out of his submersible when he gets to the bottom, he will, be prepared to 'explore' the area by moving it up and down and side to side, using the 12 propeller-driven thrusters the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER has been fitted with. He will also have access to a folding robotic arm to help him collect rocks, small animals, and other samples from the seafloor.

Preceding Mr. Cameron to the Challenger Deep will be a few unmanned 13-foot-tall landers fitted with cameras. These will carry the bait to try lure sea creatures into plastic cylinders and hopefully, bring them back to earth for research.

Of course, while every contingency to ensure Mr. Cameron's safety has been thought of, there is one thing no one can help him with - What he will encounter in this mysterious world that only two humans have ventured into. Scientists are anticipating creatures that are totally alien to us but maybe given the hostile environment, there will be nothing.

We shall all just have to wait and see and, cross our fingers for Mr. Cameron's safe return. The best part is, we will all get to experience his incredible journey from the comfort of our homes because everything he films will be morphed into a compelling documentary by National Geographic, who is sponsoring the endeavor. We have a feeling this is going to be even better than Avatar!

Resources: NationalGeographic.com

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149 Comments
  • Nina P :)Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm
    This article was very interesting. I love article that relate to the ocean or a small river or stream. James Cameron must be very brave to go into the Pacific Ocean solo that is 1,500 miles long!!!! I would never do that if that was me. I will definitely recommend this to a friend because this article is very interesting and informing to me.
    • coolWednesday, April 18, 2012 at 12:46 pm
      cool
      • AlexandruTuesday, April 17, 2012 at 5:40 pm
        This detail of James Cameron's expedition to the lowermost area on the Earth's extensive surface is thoroughly intriguing. According to article's depiction of the submersible, it would be a constrained, stagnant expanse to squander in for such prolonged span of time. Yet, despite the horrible conditions inside, an extravagant account of that alien landscape would make a great documentary.
        • Nina P:)Monday, April 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm
          This article was very interesting. I love article that relate to the ocean or a small river or stream. James Cameron must be very brave to go into the Pacific Ocean solo that is 1,500 miles long!!!! I would never do that if that was me. I will definitely recommend this to a friend because this article is very interesting and informing to me.
          • EstelleBMonday, April 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm
            Wow! I love James Cameron because of his work with the Titanic! I would not be able to go down 1,500 feet like James Cameron is doing. The place he is going to has only been visited once before in 1960. I hope James Cameron makes it back safe and sound, (so he can make more movies). I like this article because it kept me interested. I would definetly recommend this to someone who would want to try to do what James Cameron will do.
            • cleoFriday, April 13, 2012 at 7:05 am
              what about guam its more deep
              • MaxCTuesday, April 10, 2012 at 6:34 pm
                I like this article because know body knows whats down there and he will be going down there for a while alone. He can collect rocks, animals, and other things. I just hope he's not clastrophobic and jumps out or he will die instintly. I would love to do this too because you could help americas history.
                • Vanessa LTuesday, April 10, 2012 at 2:03 pm
                  I thought this article was very amusing. I cannot believe that James Cameron is going solo and going to a pacific sea floor that is 1,500 mile long, the Challenger Deep. It has been visited only once before, by a two person crew from the U.S. Navy in 1960. We just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope for a safe return.
                  • Zachary MTuesday, April 10, 2012 at 9:49 am
                    I think this article was interesting because you get to see a man go into one of the most deepest seas in the world! I never new that just one person can build a machine that can go under water. And most of all he does not need to get wet. I would show this to a friend because they might think that this is a cool machine. This is a great article to read!
                    • RhinoThursday, April 5, 2012 at 12:05 pm
                      Awesome :)