Mariana Trench (Mariana Trench) Mariana Trench
The Mariana Trench, or the Mariana Trench, is an oceanic trench in the western Pacific Ocean, which is the deepest geographic feature known on Earth. The depression stretches along the Mariana Islands for 1,500 km; it has a V-shaped profile, steep (7–9 °) slopes, a flat bottom 1–5 km wide, which is divided by thresholds into several closed depressions. At the bottom, the water pressure reaches 108.6 MPa, which is more than 1,100 times the normal atmospheric pressure at the level of the World Ocean. The depression is located on the border of the joining of two tectonic plates, in the zone of movement along the faults, where the Pacific Plate goes under the Philippine Plate.
Studies of the Mariana Trench were laid by the British expedition of the Challenger vessel, which conducted the first systematic measurements of the depths of the Pacific Ocean. This military three-masted corvette with sailing equipment was rebuilt into an oceanographic vessel for hydrological, geological, chemical, biological and meteorological work in 1872. Also a significant contribution to the study of the Mariana deep-water trench was made by Soviet researchers. In 1958, the expedition on the Vityaz established the existence of life at depths of more than 7000 m, thereby disproving the notion at that time of the impossibility of living at depths of more than 6000-7000 m. In 1960, the submersible Trieste bathtub was dived to the bottom Mariana Trench to a depth of 10,915 m.
The device registering the sounds began to transmit noises to the surface that resemble the grinding of saw teeth on metal. At the same time, obscure shadows appeared on the TV monitor, like gigantic fairy dragons. These creatures had several heads and tails. An hour later, scientists from the American research vessel "Glomar Challenger" began to worry that unique equipment made of super-durable titanium-cobalt steel beams in the NASA laboratory, having a spherical design, the so-called "hedgehog" with a diameter of about 9 m, could remain forever in the abyss. It was decided to raise it immediately. "Hedgehog" was extracted from the depths of more than eight hours. As soon as he appeared on the surface, he was immediately laid on a special raft. The camera and echo sounder lifted to the deck of the Glomar Challenger. It turned out that the strongest steel beams of the structure were deformed, and the steel 20-centimeter cable, on which it was lowered, turned out to be half sawed. Who tried to leave the "hedgehog" at depth and why - an absolute mystery. The details of this interesting experiment, conducted by American oceanologists in the Mariana Trench, were published in 1996 by the New York Times (USA).
This is not the only case of a collision with the inexplicable in the depths of the Mariana Trench. Something similar happened with the German research apparatus "Hayfish" with the crew on board. Once at a depth of 7 km, the device unexpectedly refused to float. Finding out the cause of the problem, the hydronauts turned on the infrared camera. What they saw in the next few seconds seemed to them to be a collective hallucination: a huge prehistoric dinosaur, biting its teeth into the bathyscaphe, tried to gnaw it like a nut. Coming to his senses, the crew launched a device called the "electric gun." The monster, struck by a powerful discharge, disappeared into the abyss.
The inexplicable and the incomprehensible always attracted people, so scientists all over the world want to answer the question: “What does the Mariana Trench conceal in its depths?”
Can living organisms live in such a huge depth, and what should they look like, given that they are under pressure from huge masses of oceanic waters, the pressure of which exceeds 1100 atmospheres? The difficulties associated with the study and comprehension of beings that inhabit these unimaginable depths are sufficient, but human ingenuity knows no bounds. For a long time, oceanologists considered the hypothesis that at depths of more than 6000 m in impenetrable darkness, under monstrous pressure and at temperatures close to zero, life could exist as insanity. However, the results of research in scientists in the Pacific showed that even at these depths, far below the 6000-meter mark, there are huge colonies of living organisms of the ponathonas ((pogonophora; from the Greek. Pogon - beard and phoros - bearing), a type of marine invertebrate animals living in long chitinous, open at both ends of the tubes). Recently, a veil of secrecy opened up manned and automatic, made of heavy-duty materials, underwater vehicles equipped with video cameras. As a result, a rich animal community was discovered, consisting of both known and less common marine groups.
Thus, at depths of 6,000–1,000 km, the following were found: - barophilic bacteria (developing only at high pressure), - from the simplest - foraminifera (detachment of the simplest of the rootbath subclass with the cytoplasmic body dressed as a sink) and xenofiofory (barophilic bacteria from the simplest); - from multicellular - polychaete worms, isopods crayfish, scuds, holothurians, bivalves and gastropods.
At the depths there is no sunlight, there are no algae, the salinity is constant, the temperatures are low, the abundance of carbon dioxide, an enormous hydrostatic pressure (increases by 1 atmosphere for every 10 meters). What do the inhabitants of the abyss eat? The food sources of deep-seated animals are bacteria, as well as the rain of “dead” bodies and organic detritus coming from above; deep animals are either blind or with very developed eyes, often telescopic; many fish and cephalopods with photofluors; in other forms, the surface of the body or its parts glows. Therefore, the appearance of these animals is as terrible and incredible as the conditions in which they live. Among them - a frightening kind of worms 1.5 meters long, without mouth and anus, mutant octopuses, extraordinary starfish and some kind of soft-bodied creatures of two meters length, which have not yet been identified.
So, a man could never resist the desire to explore the unknown, and the rapidly developing world of technical progress allows to penetrate deeper into the secret world of the most inhospitable and unruly in the world environment - the World Ocean. Subjects for research in the Mariana Trench will be enough for many years, considering that the most inaccessible and mysterious point of our planet, unlike Everest (height above sea level 8848 m), was conquered only once. On January 23, 1960, US naval officer Don Walsh and Swiss explorer Jacques Picard, protected by armored 12-centimeter thick walls of the bathyscaphe called Trieste, managed to descend to a depth of 10,915 meters. Despite the fact that scientists have made a huge step in the research of the Mariana Trench, the issues have not diminished, new riddles have appeared that have yet to be solved. And the ocean abyss is able to keep its secrets. Will people be able to uncover them soon?