James Cameron has already made the two highest-grossing movies ever, and now the Avatar and Titanic director wants to set another record ... under the sea. Later this month, Cameron plans to go almost seven miles down into the Pacific Ocean's Challenger Deep, the world's most inaccessible spot, in a miniature submarine he has built. Located in the Mariana Trench, the Challenger Deep has only been visited once before, by the US Navy, but the divers could only spend 20 minutes on the seabed and got no pictures. It's thought to be full of alien-like creatures, and Cameron plans to spend six hours filming them and gathering samples.
In addition to scientific research, Cameron's trip (partly funded by the National Geographic Society) is expected to yield two documentaries—one in 3D, of course. Yesterday, Cameron previewed the feat, plunging—alone in a 43-inch-wide capsule—five miles deep into the New Britain Trench off Papua New Guinea, breaking the world depth record for modern vehicles. "It’s a blast," Cameron tells the New York Times. "There’s nothing more fun than getting bolted into this and seeing things that human beings have never seen before. Forget about red carpets and all that glitzy stuff." But it's also dangerous. "You’d be an idiot not to be apprehensive," says Cameron, "but I trust the design."