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Go to Earth's Deepest Spot —for $750K

More people have been to space than to Challenger Deep
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2020 7:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – If now sounds like a good time to escape to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, with $750,000 you probably can. For that price, explorer and retired naval officer Victor Vescovo will take daring travelers to the deepest point on Earth, Challenger Deep in Mariana Trench, which has been visited by fewer people than have been to space. With his exploration company Caladan Oceanic, Vescovo—just the fourth person to visit the spot—has already filled up two eight-day expeditions scheduled for May, per Popular Mechanics. Travelers no more than 220 pounds will take a retired US Navy ship to the Western Pacific Ocean, 200 miles southwest of Guam, before descending 35,843 feet in the $37 million deep-ocean submarine, Limiting Factor, reports Bloomberg. The view: a whole lot of black.

"Once you get past a thousand feet or two, it starts to get really dark really quickly," Vescovo tells Bloomberg. "Then it's just really peaceful, and there's virtually no sense of motion in any direction." At the bottom, travelers can retrieve rocks and even bacterial colonies using a mechanical arm. And "it's likely you'll see a new species," Vescovo says. The trips will help fund Vescovo's continued exploration—he's the first person to reach the depths of all five oceans—and perhaps settle a dispute with director James Cameron. Cameron, who argues the bottom of the trench is flat, disputes the claim that Vescovo reached 52 feet deeper in Challenger Deep than he did, per Popular Mechanics. Vescovo hopes to confirm his argument with outings this year. (More on his wild adventures here.)

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