Mariana Trench: Monsters, Mysteries, Secrets

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Mariana Trench: Monsters, Mysteries, Secrets
Mariana Trench: Monsters, Mysteries, Secrets

Video: Mariana Trench: Monsters, Mysteries, Secrets

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Video: The Shark Scarier Than Megalodon From Mariana Trench 2023, January
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The Mariana Trench is one of the most amazing and mysterious places on our planet. The impossibility of a thorough study of the depression gives rise to many myths about the creatures living at its very bottom.

Mariana Trench: monsters, riddles, secrets
Mariana Trench: monsters, riddles, secrets

The Mariana Trench is a deep-sea trench located in the western Pacific Ocean near the Mariana Islands (from which it takes its name). It contains the lowest point of our planet known to science - the Challenger Abyss, whose depth reaches almost 11 kilometers below sea level. The most accurate and latest measurements recorded a depth of 10,994 meters, but this figure may have an error of a couple of tens of meters. It is noteworthy that the highest point on Earth (Mount Chomolungma) is located only 8, 8 kilometers above sea level. Therefore, it can be placed entirely in the Mariana Trench, and there will be several kilometers of water above it. This scale is truly amazing.

Why the depression is difficult to study

The maximum depth that a person can withstand without equipment is just over 100 meters, although even this figure is truly a record. With special equipment, scuba divers reached a maximum of 330 meters. This is 33 times less than the depth of the Mariana Trench, and the pressure at its bottom is 1000 times higher than usual for humans. Therefore, diving to the bottom of the trough is beyond human strength.

The first thing that comes to mind to correct this situation is the use of special devices and mechanisms that can go down and rise back unharmed. But here, too, difficulties arise. Water pressure even bends metal, so the walls of a deep-sea vehicle must be thick and strong. After diving, the device needs to surface somehow, and this requires a huge compartment with air.

Scientists managed to overcome the above difficulties: they created a special research bathyscaphe. He is able to plunge into the abyss of Challenger, and there may even be a person in it. But one more serious problem remains. Not a single ray of sunlight penetrates the bottom of the gutter, and the density of the water is so high that the illumination from the bathyscaphe lanterns barely breaks through it. Consequently, a ship that has landed on the very bottom illuminates the surrounding environment only a few meters around.

The length of the Mariana Trench is more than 2.5 kilometers, its width is 69 kilometers, and the entire relief is extremely uneven and covered with numerous hills. It will take tens and hundreds of years to simply view every meter of the bottom of the depression through the camera. This is why the study of a deep-sea trench is so difficult. Scientists receive information about the underwater world in small pieces, making films and collecting samples of living organisms from the bottom.

Research history

In 1951, the deepest point of the trough was measured fairly accurately. A hydrographic vessel named "Challenger 2" with the help of special devices recorded that the bottom is 10,899 meters below sea level. Over time, the data was corrected, but the name of the lowest point on the planet since those studies bears the name of the ship that studied it.

In 1960, people first decided to dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Daredevils were D. Walsh and J. Picard, American researchers. Sinking to the bottom of the trough in the Trieste bathyscaphe, they were surprised to see a strange kind of flat fish. Until that moment, it was believed that no living creature could withstand such a huge water pressure, so the discovery of scientists became a real sensation. Their feat was repeated by only one person - in 2012, the famous director James Cameron plunged into the abyss of Challenger alone, filming unique shots that formed a separate documentary.

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In 1995, the Japanese plunged into the abyss the remotely controlled Kaiko probe, which collected flora samples from the bottom. Single-celled shell organisms were found in the samples. In 2009, the Nerius underwater exploration apparatus was sent to deep-sea spaces. He transmitted information about the surrounding plants and creatures using LED lamps and special cameras, and, in addition, he collected biological material in a large container.

Open views

The Mariana Trench is home to many animals that give goosebumps to their appearance. Nevertheless, despite the terrifying appearance, most of them are not dangerous to humans.

Smallmouth Macropinna is a deep-sea fish with a very strange head. Her large green eyes are located in a liquid surrounded by a transparent shell. The eyes can rotate in different directions, which provides the fish with a fairly wide viewing angle. This creature feeds on zooplankton. It is noteworthy that for a very long time they could not study macropinnu, because her head bursts from the pressure as she floats to the surface of the water.

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The brownie shark is a rather unpleasant-looking shark with a huge protuberance on the muzzle in the form of a humped nose. Due to the thin skin, the shark's blood vessels shine through, which gives it a light pink color. This is one of the least studied shark species, as it lives at decent depths.

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Eagle is a small deep-sea fish, which, however, looks intimidating. On its body there is a small process, the tip of which glows, luring prey - small fish and crustaceans. The fish's teeth are long and thin, which is why it got its name.

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Grimpoteutis, or Dumbo octopus, is perhaps one of the few deep-sea species that cause not fear, but tenderness. The lateral processes on its body resemble the large ears of the elephant Dumbo, for which the creature got its name.

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The hatchet fish got its nickname because of its external resemblance to an ax. It has a very small size - from 2 to 15 cm, and feeds on smaller species of fish, shrimps and crustaceans. The fish emits a slight greenish glow.

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Secrets of the Trench and Monster Myths

One of the strangest and most unexplored features of the Mariana Trench is that in its depths, the level of radiation is greatly increased. Even some species of crustaceans and fish emit it. Scientists cannot explain where the radiation came from at such depths. In addition, the water in the Challenger Abyss is heavily contaminated with toxins, although the area near the gutter is strictly guarded and there can be no question of any industrial waste discharged into the ocean in this place.

In 1996, the Glomar Challenger bathyscaphe was submerged in the depths of the Pacific Ocean in the Mariana Trench. Some time after the start of the study, the team heard strange sounds from the speakers, as if someone was trying to saw through metal. Scientists immediately began to raise the ship to the surface, and it was badly crumpled and crushed. The table cable attached to the bathyscaphe was almost completely sawn. Cameras recorded huge silhouettes, similar to sea dragons from the worst fairy tales.

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A few years later, a similar incident occurred with the Highfish underwater vehicle. Having descended to a certain depth, the bathyscaphe stopped rising and falling. Turning on the cameras, the scientists saw that the ship was being held with its teeth by a strange monster that looked like a huge lizard. Perhaps the members of both expeditions saw the same creature. Unfortunately, there is no documentary evidence for this.

In the early 2000s, an incredible tooth was discovered in the Pacific Ocean. Scientists have established that it belongs to a giant shark, presumably extinct several million years ago - Megalodon. However, the material found in the ocean is not older than 20 thousand years. On the scale of evolution and biology, such a period is considered very small, so researchers believe that a 24-meter prehistoric shark may still be alive.

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Nevertheless, information about the giant and terrifying creatures in the abyss of the Pacific Ocean at this stage in the development of oceanology can be safely called myths. Perhaps some of these creatures really exist, but until scientists can study at least a few dozen individuals, it is too early to talk about their existence. In addition, about 10 thousand of its representatives are required to maintain the population of the species. If so many giant monsters lived in the abyss, they would be met much more often. Currently, these creatures are only evidenced by eyewitness accounts and damage on some submarines.

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