A “vast black unknown unexplored place” is how famed director turned deep-sea diver James Cameron described his trip to the deepest place on Earth, but technical issues prevented the Titanic creator from bringing back any physical souvenirs. “There had to be a moment where I just stopped, and took it in, and said, ‘This is where I am; I’m at the bottom of the ocean, the deepest place on Earth. What does that mean?” Cameron told reporters in the post-dive press conference, the AP reports. The director spent three hours at a depth of 6.8 miles.
“I just sat there looking out the window, looking at this barren, desolate lunar plain, appreciating,” Cameron continued. “It’s really the sense of isolation, more than anything, realizing how tiny you are down in this big vast black unknown and unexplored place.”
As for what he found, there was no monstrous beast as Cameron admitted he half-hoped to discover. Instead, the most ferocious animals were inch-long crustaceans that apparently resembled shrimp. There were also no signs of animal tracks on the sea bed.
While Cameron returned with no health issues, the same cannot be said for the submersible itself. The hydraulics system that powers the sample-taking equipment failed, and he was unable to retrieve any specimens.
Still, there’ll be time to grab samples when Cameron makes his next trip down, a journey the director says is already in planning. “I see this as the beginning,” he told reporters. “It’s not a one-time deal and then moving on. This is the beginning of opening up this new frontier.”