Deepest Place on Earth
For mountain climbers, the prospect of reaching the highest point on earth may be welcomed with much enthusiasm given the thrill that accompanies it. On the other hand, ocean explorers crave for the deepest point they can find on earth. While there are many pretty deep places on earth, the Mariana Trench stands out from the rest by size and design. Located in the Pacific south of Japan, the Trench, which has also adopted the name “the Challenger Deep” after a royal navy ship was sent to explore in 1875, has been measured by multiple explorers that have come up with varying figures.
26,850 and Other Astonishing Figures
When exploration of the Trench began in 1875 by a British ship dubbed the FIMS Challenger, the researchers recorded a figure of around 26,850 feet which translated to 8,184 meters. Later, in 1951, researchers recorded a measurement of about 35,760 feet which was equivalent to 10,900 meters; during this time, the echo-sounding technique was used to discover deeper sections of the Trench. By 2009, the advancements made in science and technology equipped scientists and researchers with sophisticated equipment which enabled them to incorporate sonar mapping and recorded a measurement of about 35,994 feet (10,971 meters). Of these explorations, the latest one, conducted in 2010 by the US Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, ascertained that the distance from the surface of the earth to the bottom most point in the Mariana Trench was 36,070 feet, which is equivalent to 10,994 meters. It is evident that while older measuring methods provided a rough estimation, modern methods have enabled scientists to have more accurate results.
Talk About Pressure
Simply put, the distance from the surface of the sea to the bottom of the Mariana Trench can be expressed as 7 miles, which implies that even the tallest mountain in the world would be covered by almost a mile of water if it was possible to immerse it in the Trench. Explorations by manned vessels have been limited by the fact that the lower one descends on the Trench, the higher the pressure they experience from the water; in fact, on the first journey into the Mariana Trench, the manned vessel could only be in those depths for about 20 minutes since the windows began to crack due to the immense pressure below.
Geologists discovered that the Trench was located at a strategic place between two convergent tectonic plates. In essence, when these two plates collide, due to the difference in pressure, one of them has to sink below to the mantle while the other remains atop. Between the two plates, exists a line of contact that forms a geographical feature known as a Trench. In the Mariana Trench, a deep exists that sinks into the earth creating a wonder that can only be attributed to the strange geographical processes that take place beneath and above the earth’s surface.
If Mount Everest was put inside the Mariana Trench, it would still need about 2000 feet of land to reach the surface of the sea, which is just above one mile.