James Cameron’s achievements aren’t as much about his films than they are about the act of moviemaking itself. And inherent to all of his productions have been some technological innovation, from the to-scale modeling of Titanic to the native 3D of Avatar. Borne out of his long-held fascination with diving (see: The Abyss and Titanic), Cameron’s latest feat will see him attempt the first solo trip to the deepest point in any ocean, the Mariana Trench off Guam.
It’s been 50 years since the last journey to the Mariana Trench. On January 23, 1960, Jacques Picard and Don Walsh made the journey down 35,800-feet, though the intense water pressure almost destroyed the pair’s submarine. (According to Gizmag writer Randolph Jonsson, the pressure is equivalent to the weight of “four Aston Martin DB9s stacked top every square inch of surface area.”) The experience more or less scared off anyone until Cameron, as well as Virgin founder Richard Branson, who will also attempt the dive in the near future.
Cameron, though, seems well prepared. A veteran of more than 30 deep-sea dives, as a warm-up he just set the record for the deepest solo dive, with a depth of 26,791 feet off Papua, New Guinea on March 6th. His submarine, the Deepsea Challenger, has been carefully built over the past eight years, and will be equipped with 3D and RED Epic cameras that will film the journey down.