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Titanic and Avatar director James Cameron has become the third person in the history of the world to reach the deepest point in our oceans. Cameron made the dive today by himself in the Deepsea Challenger, a one-man "vertical torpedo" that doesn't even have enough room for its sole occupant to sit.
Cameron descended 6.8 miles (that's 11 kilometers) down into the Mariana Trench, where there's a chasm called the Challenger Deep. Until today, only two other humans had ever gone this deep before: in 1960 Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard and U.S. Navy lieutenant Don Walsh ventured down into the Challenger Deep together. Their two-man submersible took five hours to reach 10,900 meters. They could only stay down at the bottom for 20 minutes, and even then their visibility was close to zero due to the silt that their sub had kicked up.
By comparison, Cameron's dive took just two hours to reach the deepest point of the Challenger Deep. He stayed down at the bottom for six hours, photographing and collecting video of the sea bottom, as well as scooping up specimens as he descended down the wall of the Challenger Deep.
Cameron is collecting the video for a documentary that he intends to release about the dive and the lime green submersible that he helped co-design.
Almost a year ago we broke a world exclusive that Cameron's dive was in jeopardy of not happening due to the March 11, 2011 Japanese earthquake. Maybe the delay worked out for the 57-year-old director: he's attending the London premiere of Titanic 3D this week, and his dive today will certainly attract even more attention for that movie's premiere.
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