Mission into the Deep: Scientists Explore the Tonga Trench
At 35,700 feet deep, the Tonga Trench is one of the world’s deepest ocean points, second only to the Mariana Trench. Located in the South Pacific, scientists recently journeyed there to study the deep-sea microbes that are able to survive such harsh conditions.
A team from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography used a weighted camera equipped with floating bottles in order to gather data from the trench’s depths. They successfully collected two sets of samples, but on the third attempt to collect data using a baited camera, the device never returned to the surface. They believe it most likely collapsed under the pressure.
The voyage lasted a mere six days with three of those days used for travel. Now the team will return to the Scripps lab in the hopes that their samples will reveal some new discoveries.
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