James Cameron, director of the blockbusters 'Titanic' and 'Avatar', has become the first person to make a solo 6.8 mile dive to the Earth's deepest point, according to TVGuide.com.
This morning, the Oscar-winner was submersed in a 12-ton submarine known as 'Deepsea Challenger' and travelled to the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench southwest of Guam. He arrived at the Earth's deepest point, 'Challenge Deep' at approximately 8:00 am local time. The 35,756-foot dive descended to the trench which is described as 120 times larger than the Grand Canyon and a mile deeper than Mount Everest is tall. The voyage took two hours and 36 minutes.
Upon reaching his destination, Cameron commented, "All systems OK." and tweeted, "Just arrived at the ocean's deepest pt. Hitting bottom never felt so good. Can't wait to share what I'm seeing w/ you @DeepChallenge."
At the bottom of the sea, the filmmaker took three hours to collect research samples for marine biology, microbiology, astrobiology, marine geology and geophysics, and took photographs and video footage. The expedition is a joint venture between National Geographic, Cameron and Rolex, and will hopefully discover important information about this unknown part of the Earth.
In a statement prior to the dive, Cameron said, "This journey is the culmination of more than seven years of planning for me and the amazing Deepsea Challenge expedition team. Most importantly, though, is the significance of pushing the boundaries of where humans can go, what they can see and how they can interpret it. Without the support of National Geographic and Rolex, and their unwavering belief that we could successfully make it to the deepest point in the ocean — and back — this would not have happened."