Discovery of Mariana Trench

The Mariana Trench was discovered by a group of scientists working on marine beds in the second half of the 19th century. On March 23, 1875, the Mariana Trench was found by the HMS Challenger in the south-western side of the Mariana Islands and north of the Caroline Islands, at 11 ° 24 north latitude and 143 ° 16 east longitude coordinates. Hundreds of pounds of lead were tied to the ropes to measure the depth and researchers confirmed the discovery by reaching 8184 metre in the ocean. This work also refer to the birth of oceanography at the same time.

The British Royal Navy’s research vessel, in 1951, carried out a research using the sonar technology in the Mariana Trench . Thanks to advanced sonar technology, the sound was sent to the bottom of the ocean and reached a depth of 11033 meters. In addition,  the seabed of the Mariana Trench was mapped and it revealed that Mariana Trench was not a hole but a gigantic geographical formation, half a circle – a crescent with dimensions of  2542 km length and 69 km width.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States conducted a survey in the Challanger Deep of ​​Mariana Trench in 2010. Thanks to the transmitted sound vibrations, the deepest point  (10994 meters) was determined as known today.

Trips to the Depths of Mariana Trench

The first trip to Mariana Trench took place on 23 January 1960. It took place at Challenger Deep and researchers reached 10.916 meters. It was conducted by Swiss ocean engineer Jacques Piccard and US Naval officer Don Walsh with the French-made Trieste bathyscaphe (submarine used in exploration dives).


The next trip to the depths of Challanger Deep was completed by Canadian filmmaker James Cameron about 52 years later. Cameron, on March 26, 2012 dived into the Deep with the Deepsea Challenger bathyscaphe and got to 10,898 meters. James Cameron, who reached the floor of around 156 minutes, made some researches for three hours and came to the surface around 70 minutes.


Designed by Cameron and built by Australian engineers, Deepsea Challenger bathyscaphe was resistant to a  pressure of over 7000 tonnes per square meter.

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