No one has come lower than James Cameron, at least not alone. And so it has been since, in 2012, the Canadian filmmaker used a deep-immersion submersible to reach the Challenger Deep, at the southern end of the Mariana Trench, the deepest known point in the Earth’s seabed hydrosphere. .
Obsessed with the depths, the man responsible for some of the best films in the history of cinema told us in ‘Abyss’ (1989) how a team of scientists was hired by the navy to rescue a nuclear submarine trapped at the bottom of the sea, al edge of an abyssal rift several kilometers deep. Willing to reimagine the life of what now sleeps with the fish, he carried out ‘Titanic’ (1997), the film that, with 2,188 million dollars collected at the global box office, became the highest-grossing film in history for twelve yearswhen he anticipated himself with ‘Avatar’ (2009).
It was during this period of time that Cameron took the opportunity to dedicate himself to going down to the seabed in person and shooting different documentary films such as ‘A James Cameron Expedition: The Battleship Bismark’ (2002), ‘Titanic Mysteries’ (2003) and ‘Mysteries of the Ocean’ (2005), one of the best documentaries on Disney+. When he broke all records again with his walk on Pandora, he decided to treat himself.
So, On March 26, 2012, at 7:52 a.m. local time, James Cameron reached the bottom of the Mariana Trench inside the Deepsea Challenger.a 7.3-meter submersible designed for this mission, reached a depth of 10,898.4 meters, forming part of history by becoming the fourth descent in history to the Challenger Deep, the second manned and the first solo. Furthermore, he was the only one to spend up to three hours exploring the bottom, collecting sediment samples that revealed hitherto unknown microbes.
“Early morning in a sea black as jet. My submersible, the Deepsea Challenger lurches and jerks at the mercy of the enormous waves of the Pacific,” Cameron himself underlined. “In just 35 minutes I exceed the depth at which the Titanic lies, since I descend four times faster than in the Russian Mir submersibles that we used in 1995 in the filming of the famous wreck for the movie. It seemed to me then that the Titanic was at an inconceivable depth and that going down to it was as amazing an adventure as going to the Moon. Now, leaving that depth behind, I make a jaunty gesture with my hand. A quarter of an hour later I exceed 4,760 meters, the depth of the battleship Bismarck. In 2002, while exploring its remains, a spotlight bulb imploded with the force of a grenade right next to the hull of our Mir; It was the first time I had experienced an implosion in deep water. If the Deepsea Challenger’s hull doesn’t hold up, I won’t even know. It will be a fade to black. But this will not happen. PFor something we invested three years in designing, forging and machining this sphere of steel”.
This expedition at a depth of almost 11 kilometers can be followed in ‘James Cameron: Challenge in the Deep‘ (John Bruno, Ray Quint, Andrew Wight, 2014), the adventure film that you can rent on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+.
Son of Spielberg, acolyte of Lynch and lookalikes of Shinji Ikari. A Star Wars graduate from the sadly defunct University of Alderaan, he has specialized in American comedy, age-old terrors, and extensive arguments about the identity of the gaze that returns us from the abyss. He listens to Nine Inch Nails too much.
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The day James Cameron surpassed the ‘Titanic’ and reached the deepest point on the planet