TITANIC ICON CAMERON SURFACES AFTER 7-MILE DIVE
Hollywood icon James Cameron has completed his journey to Earth's deepest point.
The director of Titanic used a specially designed submarine to dive nearly seven miles. He then spent time exploring and filming the Mariana Trench, about 200 miles southwest of the Pacific island of Guam, before returning to the surface this morning.
He spent a little more than three hours under water after reaching a depth of 35,756 feet before he began his return to the surface -- he had planned to spend up to six hours on the sea floor.
Cameron's return aboard his 12-ton, lime-green sub called Deepsea Challenger was a "faster-than-expected 70-minute ascent", according to National Geographic.
There were no immediate reports regarding Cameron's well-being. A medical team was present when Cameron (57) emerged from the sub, but expedition physician Joe MacInnis said he expected Cameron would be fine. "Jim is going to be a little bit stiff and sore from the cramped position, but he's in really good shape for his age, so I don't expect any problems at all," said Dr MacInnis.
The scale of the trench is hard to grasp -- it's 120 times larger than the Grand Canyon and more than a mile deeper than Mount Everest is tall.
"It's really the first time that human eyes have had an opportunity to gaze upon what is a very alien landscape," said National Geographic Society executive Terry Garcia.
Swiss engineer Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh, a US navy captain, are the only others to reach the spot. They spent about 20 minutes there during their 1960 dive but couldn't see much after their sub kicked up sand from the sea floor.