Mariana Trench: the Deepest Part of the Planet Earth

Mariana Trench
Mariana Trench

The world is full of spots that mankind love to explore. Whether it is a mountain or sea, an island or a desert, people love to have a different experience by exploring the concerned avenues. There are many areas which pose such challenges for adventure lovers. Though many have lost their lives for such explorations, the craze for the same has not stopped, and people keep on hunting such new locations as well.
Do you know about five of the deepest points in our world, here is a list of them:

Rank Name Location Depth (feet)
1 Challenger Deep Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc, Mariana Trench, Pacific Ocean 36,197
2 Tonga Trench Pacific Ocean 35,702
3 Galathea Depth Philippine Trench, Pacific Ocean 34,580
4 Kuril-Kamchatka Trench Pacific Ocean 34,449
5 Kermadec Trench Pacific Ocean 32,963

While thousands of individuals have summited Mount Everest, the premier point on Earth, less than a few have succeeded to explore the planet’s deepest point, a site known as the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Water’s Mariana Trench. It is a famous place much-known for its varied sea lives and depth as well as the wonder of the nature below the surface of the earth.
If you cut the famous mountain pick of Himalayas, Mount Everest off at the sea level and place the same at the marine bottom here, there will be still a couple of miles of water over the top of it. This trench is positioned in the parts of the western Pacific Ocean. It lies to the east of the Philippines. The Mariana Trench is a curved shaped blemish in Earth’s shell that measures more than 1,500 miles long and 43 miles wide on average.


  1. How was the Mariana Trench formed?
  2. Why is a Mariana Trench expedition difficult?
  3. Expeditions
  4. Life in the trench

How was the Mariana Trench formed?

This famous Trench was shaped because of a process known as subduction. The crust of the Earth is made up of thin tectonic plates which “float” on the layer of the planet which is in melted form. While floating on the mantle, the boundaries of these plates gradually bump into each other and from time to time even strike head-on.

Cross section of the Mariana trench (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

When two plates bang into each other, a sea plate plummets down into the mantle, while the other plate trips up over the top. This crusade creates a ditch where the plunging oceanic plate slogs down the edge of the superseding plate. This crusade also creates the largest known seismic activity, which often creates tsunamis.
The majority of the Mariana Trench is under a U.S. protected zone. This is currently the part of the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument. This was established in the year 2009.

Why is a Mariana Trench expedition difficult?

Part of the reason that the Mariana Trench is uncharted is due to the hydrostatic burden. When you cross the threshold any body of water and start plunging from the surface, the deeper you dive, the more water conceals you. The greater the load of water on you, the greater will be the pressure on your body.
When you dive into a swimming pool and go all the way to the bottommost of the deep end, you can often feel the hydrostatic pressure in contrast to your ear membranes. You get a feeling of having them squeezed. Now just magnify the same feeling by nearly a thousand times when you are in the deepest trench. You can apprehend how incredible the weight would be in the Challenger Deep with nearly 7 miles of water above your head.


As thought-provoking as it is to discover the Mariana Trench as well as the Challenger Deep in particular; numerous fearless pioneers have prospered in this task.
The trench was first broadcasted during the Challenger voyage in 1875, using a weighted rope, which logged a depth of 8,184 meters. The Mariana Trench was also measured in 1951 by the British Survey ship, Challenger II. Again in 1984, the Japanese guided a survey vessel to the Trench to gather data using a multibeam echosounder.
The waves of sound sent in the research from the device known as echosounder bounced from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. They are received on a graph which helped to create the ocean’s bottom map. This method helped the researchers to assemble important ecological data without jeopardizing a diver deep in the sea. In the year 2010, a sonar survey was conducted with multibeam echosounders by the University of New Hampshire. They found new features of the seafloor and obtained the most precise depth of Challenger Deep which is 10,994 meters. This is said to be one of the most accurate measurement.
Most notably, and also most in recent times, in 2012, director James Cameron made a significant, solo dive down to the bottommost of the Challenger Deep in a specially – designed operated submersible named DEEPSEA CHALLENGER. This voyage unruffled data and samples previously unidentified, leading to prosperity of scientific information about one of the least known parts of our Earth.

Life in the trench

Contemporary scientific voyages have exposed astonishingly diverse life in these punitive conditions. Fauna existing in the deepest portions of the Mariana Trench lives in widespread dark and life-threatening pressure.

Sustenance in the Mariana Trench is tremendously inadequate because the deep gorge is far away from land. Leaves, coconuts, and trees are hardly ever found its way into the bottommost of the trench. Instead, some microorganisms rely on substances, such as methane or sulfur, while others being gobbled up marine life lower on the food chain.
Recently studies found microbes in the Pacific Ocean surviving on arsenic which is a poisonous element.
There are three most general entities at the bottommost of the Mariana Trench known as amphipods, small sea cucumbers, and xenophyophores.
The lone celled xenophyophores bear a resemblance to massive amoebas, and they eat by nearby and gripping their food. Amphipods are glossy, shrimplike scroungers that are found in the trenches at deep-sea. There is also holothurians which can be considered as a new species of radiant sea cucumber.

Amphipods(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Researchers have also acknowledged more than 200 dissimilar microbes in sludge collected from the Challenger Deep. The sludge was carried back to labs on dry land in an exceptional container and is meticulously kept in circumstances that simulate the crushing cold and pressure of that of the Mariana Trench.
However, a misleadingly susceptible viewing fish is not only right at home here, but it is also one of the area’s top predators. In 2017, scientists reported they had gathered samples of a rare creature, nicknamed the Mariana snailfish, which lives at a depth of about 26,200 feet.
With sustained research with modern tools and technology used for the measurement helps the researchers get the accurate picture of this trench.


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