Deep-Sea Divers Discover Plastic In The Mariana Trench


An American explorer, Victor Vescovo, set a record for the deepest underwater dive in history and found something amazing there. After descending to the deepest part of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, Vescovo found something disturbing – a plastic bag and a few wrappers. The fact of plastic waste making it so deep into the ocean is heartfelt discovery and is something that scientists around the world should start thinking about.

Vescovo went 11 km down (about 7 miles) and spent about four hours at the bottom of the trench in his deep-dive submarine. This dive is part of the Five Deeps expedition, which aims to explore the deepest parts of the world. The expeditions were founded entirely by Vescovo, who is a private equity investor. Interestingly before going down and setting a record, Vescovo previously climbed the seven highest peaks on the planet.

The dive to the Mariana Trench was the fourth one in last six months with previous ones taking place in the Puerto Rico Trench in the Atlantic Ocean, the South Sandwich Trench in the Southern Ocean, and the Java Trench in the Indian Ocean. The next attempt is scheduled for August 2019, with the attempt to descend down the Molloy Deep in the Arctic Ocean.

Before Vescovo, there were people who reached the ocean’s extreme depth. In 1960, Don Walsh, a US Navy lieutenant, and Jacques Piccard, a Swiss engineer, record the bottom in a bathyscaphe Trieste. Next, in 2012, movie director James Cameron made a solo plunge to reach the bottom. Vescovo went down to 10,927m (35,849ft) and set a record for the deepest dive in the world’s history.


During the five dives that Vescovo’s team made during this expedition, the crew discovered a few species and took some samples. But the most shocking discovery was the plastic bag that somehow ended up at the deepest part of the world’s ocean. We are very much aware that most of our rubbish ends up in the ocean, but the fact that some of it ended up here means that the situation is becoming even more drastic. We are not resolving the problem, we are only getting rid of it.

Recycling is a major factor of resolving this problem but unfortunately, not a lot of organizations are taking things seriously. For instance, according to the statistics gathered from Rubbish Waste, a leading garbage disposal company in London, not a lot of people are recycling. London recycles only about 32% of their household waste and even with a lot of the garbage being moved to China or other European countries, a lot of it still ends up in the world’s oceans. If these trends continue we are only going to make the problem even worse and start poisoning the ocean life.


Vescovo’s team gathered some creatures that they found there and they are not only going to be analyzed regularly, they are also going to be checked for signs of microplastics. These small bits of plastic have been found in stomachs of various ocean animals which means that most of them are consuming the plastic that we throw away. It is more devastating to know that the plastic we throw away ends up in our bellies as we consume the fish that we catch. If researches find traces of microplastics in wildlife that is able to endure the pressure of the depths, it will mean that the problem of dumping rubbish into the ocean is getting out of hand.

Each year, about 8 million tons of plastic end up in the world’s ocean. Most of it comes from China but a lot of it is exported from Europe to Asia. A lot of countries have started implementing their zero disposal initiative but we all fear that it could be a little bit too late. The London Plan is one of the most inspiriting initiatives which is aimed to take full effect until 2026. It also claims that zero plastics are to end up on landfills and a 100% recycling rate.

This could be a favorable way in resolving the problem and the news that Vescovo brought from the deep should be as a big red flag. A warning that we all have to aid and take seriously.

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