Victor Vescovo, a retired Navy officer, Dallas investor, and multi-discipline adventurer, just set a new world record with a dive to 35,853 feet in the Marianas Trench in the Pacific in his Triton submarine. And he found plastic.
Vescovo actually made two separate solo dives in the sub, DSV Limiting Factor. He spent about four hours exploring the ocean floor each time, another record for time spent at the bottom of the ocean. It took 3.5 hours for the sub to reach the bottom and another 3.5 hours to ascend back to the mothership. He beat the previous record for a manned dive by 52 feet.
The dive was part of The Five Deeps Expedition, named because it is meant to explore the deepest points in each of the world’s five oceans. Before turning to ocean exploration, Vescovo climbed the highest peaks of the world’s seven continents.
His dive in the Mariana Trench discovered four new species of prawn-like crustaceans called amphipods, and a pink snailfish. They will be tested to see if they contain microplastics, which have been a problem even for creatures of the deep. Vescovo did find a plastic bag and candy wrappers at the bottom of the ocean.
The Triton sub he used in his dives can hold two people, and is built to withstand 1,000 bars of pressure, the equivalent of 50 jumbo jets piled on top of a person. Next up for the Expedition: the Molloy Deep in the Arctic in August. Read more: