Victor Vescovo sets new record for deepest manned solo dive

May 14, 2019 | Environment
The Five Deeps Expedition: Victor Vescovo descended 35,853 feet to the bottom of the Challenger Deep | Photo: The Five Deeps Expedition

Victor Vescovo broke the world record for the deepest ever manned dive.

The American businessman descended 35,853 feet (10,928 meters) to the bottom of the Challenger Deep, the deepest known point in the world's oceans.

The Challenger Deep is located in the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Japan and Papua New Guinea, in the Mariana Trench, the deepest natural trench on the planet.

Vescovo is the creator of the Five Deeps Expedition, the world's first manned journey to the deepest point in each of the five oceans.

The undersea explorer from Dallas added 52 feet (15.8 meters) to the previous solo dive record set by Hollywood director James Cameron.

The 53-year-old diver spent four hours exploring the bottom of the ocean inside his small sub built to withstand immense pressure.

Victor Vescovo (right): the businessman is also a passionate undersea explorer | Photo: The Five Deeps Expedition

Four New Species and Plastic

Vescovo discovered arrowtooth eels, cusk eels with transparent heads, grenadier fish, and ghostly snailfish.

"It was an amazing experience. It was an amazing dive," expressed Vescovo after resurfacing.

"I think almost exactly 12 hours, [i.e.] four hours on the bottom, which I think is the longest anyone has ever been on the bottom of the Challenger Deep. And then about four hours up."

"I went through pretty much all of my electrical power and had to be swapping batteries around and circuits around. It was a great journey. I saw some really interesting things on the bottom."

Unfortunately, the diver was also confronted with an inconvenient reality.

Victor Vescovo found human pollution at the bottom of the Challenger Deep, something the scientists thought it was unlikely.

The diver spotted candy wrappers and plastic bags lying on the seabed - at nearly 11 kilometers of depth.