Victor Vescovo, a retired naval officer, made the unsettling discovery as he descended nearly 35,853ft (10,927 meters) to a point in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench that is the deepest place on Earth, his expedition said in a statement on Monday. His dive went 52ft (16 meters) lower than the previous deepest descent in the trench in 1960.
After reaching the point, the officer has revealed that he had found trash along with some interesting creatures.
Plastic waste has reached epidemic proportions with estimated 100m tonnes of it now found in the world’s oceans, according to the United Nations.
It was the third time humans have dived to the deepest point in the ocean, known as Challenger Deep. The Canadian film-maker James Cameron was the last to visit in 2012 in his submarine, reaching a depth of 35,787ft (10,908 meters).
Prior to Cameron’s dive, the first-ever expedition to Challenger Deep was made by the US Navy in 1960, reaching a depth of 35,800ft (10,912 meters