Fast Facts about the Mariana Trench

Facts About Mariana Trench - Deepest Point On Earth

Posted By M.Isac Sep 21, 2015

You might already be aware that there are 5 oceans in the world with Pacific Ocean and Arctic Ocean being the largest and the smallest, respectively, among them. The Atlantic Ocean is the third largest ocean on the planet earth that separates North America from Europe and South America from the African continent. The Indian Ocean and the Southern Ocean, on the other hand, are ranked as the third largest and the fourth largest oceanic divisions in the world, respectively. But, do you also know how deep is the deepest point of the world's oceans and where it is found? This is what we are going to explore now in this article, where we will also be discovering its geographical traits as well as some of the most amazing facts.

  • Mariana Trench, also called Marianas Trench, is the crescent shaped trench located in the western Pacific Ocean and it has been found to have the deepest part of the world's oceans.
  • It is the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench region that is the deepest spot on earth, measuring over 11 kilometers in depth.
  • Do you know that if the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest, is placed in the Challenger Deep, its 8,848 meter high peak will be more than two kilometer below the sea level?
  • It is amazing to note that the pressure exerted by the water column at the bottom of the trench is over thousand times greater than the standard atmospheric pressure at the sea level!
  • Owing to the very high pressure exerted by the water column above, the density of water at the Mariana Trench increases by about 5 percent, which means that 95 liters of water at the bottom of trench will have the mass equal to 100 liters of water at the surface.
  • The temperature of water at the Mariana Trench varies between 1 oC to 4 oC, meaning it is near the freezing point and its constant contact could be unbearable for the humans.
  • Though the overall length of the trench runs for about 2,550 kilometers, its width is merely 69 kilometers.
  • Because of the earth not being a perfect sphere, the radius at the poles is about 25 kilometer less than the radius at the equator. That is why the bottom of the Mariana Trench is not the closest point to the center of the earth. But on the contrary, some parts of the Arctic Ocean seabed lie closest to the earth's center.
  • According to the findings of a research, the trench is regarded as one of the world's oldest seabeds, and it is about 180 million years old.
  • The water pressure of 8 tons per square inch at the bottom of the trench means as many as 50 jumbo jets placed on the top of a person.
  • Do you really know that there are hydrothermal vents, at the floor of the trench, which emit highly acidic fluids? The temperature around these hydrothermal vents may reach as high as 300 degrees centigrade but, on the contrary, the temperature of the seabed floor does not usually go higher than 4.4 degrees centigrade.
  • The contrast between the highly acidic & hot, and the highly basic & cool environment in the trench gives rise to an ever changing and nearly toxic environment, but even then a variety of life thrives here!
  • From a mud sample, taken from the Challenger Deep, the oceanographers have discovered that as many as 200 different microorganism are living in the region. Moreover, two inch long amphipods or shrimp-like crustaceans have also been found thriving in abundance at the bottom.
  • Do you know that the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the Mariana Trench, has been named after the two vessels, called the HMS Challenger and HMS Challenger II?
  • During a global circumnavigation in 1875, the Mariana Trench was discovered by HMS Challenger with the use of sounding equipment.
  • About 76 years after the visit of the HMS Challenger, the trench was sounded again by HMS Challenger II.
  • A 'deep boat', known as Bathyscaphe Trieste, was the first ever vessel to reach the bottom of the Challenger Deep in 1960, which was manned by a Swiss scientist Jacques Piccard and a US navy Lieutenant Don Walsh.
  • It is interesting to note that the very hot water emitted by the vents is rich in its mineral contents that help in sustaining life in this area.
  • The hot water of the vents, at times reaching 450 oC, does not boil because of the very high pressure exerted by the water column above.
  • Do you know that the giant 10 cm single celled amoebas, called ksenofiofory, show amazing resistance to multiple elements and chemicals, such as, mercury, uranium and lead that would kill other animals as well as humans?
  • The only known underwater area where you can find liquid carbon dioxide is the Champagne Vent of the Mariana Trench that is outside the Okinawa Trough near Taiwan.
  • Discovered in 2005, the Champagne Vent was initially regarded as the source of harmless water, but closer inspection revealed that it was emitting pure carbon dioxide. Owing to the presence of bubbles, it was named as the Champagne Vent.
  • Located at the depth of about 414 meter on the way to the Mariana Trench, there is Daikoku volcano which is the source of one of the rarest phenomena on the planet. Here in the pit, called "pot", there is a lake of pure molten sulfur a seething black emulsion that is boiling at 187 degrees Celsius.
  • So surprisingly, man has explored beyond the distance of the light years into the outer space, but only 5 percent of the seabed has been explored and mapped till now the remaining still remains unexplored.
  • The bottom of the trench is covered with a blanket of icky, viscous ooze as, owing to the immense water pressure, everything getting there ends up ground up into a fine, grayish-yellow almost silky sludge.
  • Spanning over the area of 246,000 square kilometers, Mariana Trench has been designated as the US National Monument by an act signed by the US President George Walker Bush in 2009.

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