Plastic proliferates at the bottom of world’s deepest ocean trenchKrakenSailing
This story is part of Planet or Plastic?—our multiyear effort to raise awareness about the global plastic waste crisis. Learn what you can do to reduce your own single-use plastics, and take your pledge.Yet again, plastic is proving to be everywhere in the sea. During a dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench that purportedly reached 35,849 feet, Dallas businessman Victor Vescovo claims to have found a plastic bag. And it’s not even the first time: It’s the third time plastic has been documented in the deepest explored part of the ocean.Vescovo made his dive in a submersible on April 28 as part of his “Five Deeps” Expedition, which involve journeys to the deepest points in each of Earth’s oceans. During the four hours Vescovo spent at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, he observed several marine creatures—one of which is a potentially new species—a plastic bag, and candy wrappers.Few people have reached such extreme depths. Swiss engineer Jacques Piccard and U.S. Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh were the first in 1960. National Geographic explorer and movie director James Cameron then made a dive to the depths in 2012. Cameron logged 35,787 feet on his dive, just shy of the 62 feet that Vescovo claims to have reached.