Texas explorer completes deepest ocean dive in history

Explorer reaches deepest spot on Earth in historic dive

Explorer reaches deepest spot on Earth in historic dive

"Nearly six decades ago Jacques Piccard and I were the first persons to dive into Challenger Deep, the deepest place in the World Ocean", said oceanographer Don Walsh, who descended into the Mariana Trench in the 1960s. Titanic director and frequent diver James Cameron set the previous record in 2012.

The team believes it has discovered four new species of prawn-like crustaceans called amphipods, saw a creature called a spoon worm 7,000m-down and a pink snailfish at 8,000m.

Details of the voyage, made May 1, were released for the first time on Monday.

Vescovo, a 53-year-old financier with a naval background, tells CNN Travel his journey to the depths was about testing the limits of human endeavor as much as scientific discovery.

"We wanted to prove the capability of the submarine and the whole system by diving there repeatedly and really, hopefully, opening the door for science", Vescovo said. Humanity's waste had reached the deepest parts of the sea floor.

Their odyssey on the submersible vessel The Limiting Factor are being filmed for the upcoming Discovery Channel series "Five Deeps Expedition".

The dive forms part of the Five Deeps expedition - an attempt to explore the deepest points in each of the world's five oceans. Its next stop will be the Horizon Deep in the South Pacific Ocean's Tonga Trench, which measures at just under 11,000 meters deep to stack in as the second-deepest ocean trench in the world. The never-explored Molloy Deep in the Arctic Ocean, which the team plans to explore in August 2019.

The Mariana trench is deep enough to completely submerge Mount Everest.

Aside from gathering biological samples like rocks and sand from the bottom of the ocean, Vescovo's mission seeks to conduct sonar mapping in the unknown areas of the deep sea.

Prior to Cameron's dive, the first-ever expedition to Challenger Deep was made by the U.S. Navy in 1960, reaching a depth of 10,912 meters. The team says scientists intend to test the deep sea creatures for plastic build-up. Atlantic Productions for Discovery Channel/Tamara Stubbs/Handout via REUTERS.

Vescovo also made progress toward his larger goal.

An American explorer has broken the the record for the deepest ever dive.

"It is nearly indescribable how excited all of us are about achieving what we just did", he said in a release after the completion of the dives.

"That is my honest hope - to sell the system to an institute, government, or individual, that can use the whole diving system to advance marine science for decades to come".

Spending four hours scouring the sea floor, Vescovo also took time to enjoy the moment. "That is the story of our species, and I am just so happy that even if in a small way, I have been able to contribute to forward progress".

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