James Cameron Ventures Way Under the Sea (UPDATED)


Director and science nerd James Cameron is making an attempt to travel to the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean. The last time someone tried this was in 1960, when Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard and Navy Lt. Don Walsh spent a weak 20 minutes at the bottom. Cameron plans on filming and exploring for six hours down in the trench, which is a staggering seven miles below sea level.

Cameron is traveling by himself in a one-man submarine called the Deepsea Challenger. The tiny vessel — Cameron calls it a "vertical torpedo" — can withstand the incredible pressure of the deep sea. So, is the king of the world nuts or just curious? Perhaps both, but allow him to explain.

I grew up on a steady diet of science fiction at a time when people where living a science fiction reality. People were going to the Moon, and Cousteau was exploring the ocean. And that's what I grew up with, what I valued from my childhood.

Cameron plans on releasing a documentary with footage from his journey, and will also be collecting samples for scientists to study. He has a serious trek ahead, but traveling to the bottom of the ocean is still easier than taking a trip to the far-away moon of Pandora.

UPDATE:
According to this tweet from the Associated Press, Cameron "has reached the deepest spot on Earth."

[Image via AP]