Science meets art as The Abyss director sets undersea record

They say that, “When Chuck Norris jumps in the ocean he doesn’t get wet, the ocean gets Chuck Norris.” But in reality, is there a more badass filmmaker than James Cameron? This last Sunday evening the creator of Terminator and Avatar set a record-breaking solo submarine dive into the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean and is only the third person to ever reach this deepest point on the Earth at the depth of 35,756 feet (7 miles).

The last time this feat was accomplished was in 1960, when Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard piloted a two-person submarine to the bottom of the ocean and spent 20 minutes exploring. Cameron was there for over three hours, alone, in what is probably the most desolate and dangerous place on the planet.

Academy Award-winning director James Cameron has spent his career melding his love of science with science-fiction and filmmaking and has spent personal millions that were made from his movies on his love of undersea exploration and advances in film technology in an unprecedented mix of art, science and entertainment. So what did the famous filmmaker see at the bottom of the ocean? It doesn’t sound nearly as exciting as some of his fictional undersea excursions like The Abyss or Titanic.

“When I was in the New Britain Trench a couple weeks ago, the bottom was covered in the tracks of small animals, which gave it an eggshell appearance.” said Cameron. “But when I came to Challenger Deep, the bottom was completely featureless. I had this idea that life would adapt to the deep — but I don’t think we’re seeing that.”

Cameron believes that his record-breaking adventure will pave the way for more deep sea research. I wonder if they’ll find Chuck Norris down there anywhere? Find out more about James Cameron’s latest adventure on the National Geographic web site.

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About the author

Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.