Current Magazine

As First Footage is Released, What Have We Learned from James Cameron’s Voyage to the Depths of the Ocean?

Posted on the 27 March 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
As first footage is released, what have we learned from James Cameron’s voyage to the depths of the ocean?

Director James Cameron in the 'Deepsea Challenger', via National Geographic/YouTube

Titanic director James Cameron has made another big splash – this time with footage of his voyage to the deepest part of the ocean. Cameron became the first person to undertake a solo dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, seven miles below the surface of the western Pacific.

Equipment failure cut short the director’s undersea exploration in submarine ‘Deepsea Challenger’. But Cameron remained upbeat, according to Reuters, and described his awe at the perfect isolation of the sea floor: “When I got to the bottom … it was completely featureless and uniform… My feeling was one of complete isolation from all of humanity.”

Cameron, famous for films including Avatar and True Lies, has shown a previous passion for underwater exploration, producing a number of deep-sea documentaries over the years. But what was the point of his latest venture?

Titanic effort. At first glance, footage released of Cameron’s dive may not seem particularly exciting, wrote Jacqui Goddard at The Daily Beast: “Yet in just 26 seconds, this seemingly scant-on-thrills offering represents a record of one of the most significant feats of human exploration.” The failure of the craft’s hydraulic arm meant the director was unable to collect any deep-sea creatures, but this is something he intends to remedy in the future. “News that he not only plans to go back but also to turn his project into an ambitious, longer-term program of undersea research, has prompted delight in the deep-sea exploration community,” Goddard said.

View footage of James Cameron’s underwater exploration below.


Aliens. Cameron may have struggled to collect the range of samples he’d hoped for, but the director did bring back a small quantity of mud along with the footage. “The science team is hopeful that the small sample Cameron took of the trench’s sediments, along with the sub’s constantly whirring cameras, will provide some new insight into the remote underwater realm,” said National Geographic, partner on the project. “The mud, they say, could contain exotic species of microbial life that may not only advance our understanding of the deep ocean but also help in the search for extraterrestrial life.”

The Abyss. Michael Hanlon puts Cameron’s voyage into context in The Daily Mail: “About 3,000 climbers have summited Everest, around 550 people have traveled into space and 12 men have walked on the Moon. But only three people have ever visited the deepest point on the ocean floor.” According to Hanlon, a previous expedition showed that the Mariana Trench is desolate, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from it: “The abyss may be black and cold but it is in scientific terms hugely interesting. There is no more extreme environment on the Earth’s surface.”

True Lies. Writing ahead of Cameron’s return, Roz Kaveney suggested on The Guardian’s Comment is Free that the director’s trip is thrilling partly for the potential to inform his cinematic art. “What Cameron finds in the depths of the sea will be transmuted (because he is a true artist, even if you happen not to have liked Avatar) into art,” wrote Kaveney. “The exploration of the real world and the exploration of mere possibilities build on each other constantly.” Shame, therefore, that Cameron appears not to have actually seen any creatures this time round.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Dying Games – Steve Robinson

    Dying Games Steve Robinson

    Crime Fiction5*s The genealogical expert Jefferson Tayte is back! I love this series which has taken me back to historical eras I know little about while tellin... Read more

    12 hours, 13 minutes ago by   Cleopatralovesbooks
    BOOKS, CULTURE
  • Crushed a Flower with a Footstep

    (Photograph by Abhay Tiwari) Please, talk to me about who you were before the walls were painted blue; Tell me the bruises, the aches, and time just added... Read more

    13 hours, 20 minutes ago by   Shantam Sahai
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Make My Day . . .

    Make

    Read more

    13 hours, 36 minutes ago by   Vickilane
    CREATIVITY, PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Lifestyle: Productive Procrastination

    Lifestyle: Productive Procrastination

    I’ve moaned about it enough, so you’ll all know by know that despite having graduated last summer I’m still studying. I’ve chosen a career path which pretty muc... Read more

    14 hours, 35 minutes ago by   Ninegrandstudent
    FASHION, FOOD & DRINK, LIFESTYLE
  • Why I’m Not At the MidAmerica Region Annual Assembly

    I love Chicago. I have family there that I'm normally always looking for a way to be with. And I have friends that I don't see nearly enough. So when I first... Read more

    15 hours, 50 minutes ago by   Eastofmidnight
    POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • Lemon Stuffed French Toast

    Lemon Stuffed French Toast

    Whenever I have stale bread I want to make one of two things . . . either I want to make a bread pudding, or I want to make French Toast. Today the French... Read more

    16 hours, 36 minutes ago by   Mariealicerayner
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Safety First And Workout Related Injuries Last

    Safety First Workout Related Injuries Last

    (Image Credit) Like most things in life, exercise can be a dangerous game. It’s very easy to injure yourself while you’re exercising; if you fail to take the... Read more

    20 hours, 32 minutes ago by   Peppertan
    FAMILY, HOME

Magazines