Definition of Mariana Trench
The Mariana Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean , specifically south of Japan and east of the Philippines. They constitute an archipelago of 15 islands whose global area is slightly greater than 1000 square kilometers. The Marianas are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and are of volcanic origin.
This archipelago is politically integrated into the overseas territories of the United States, but is known worldwide for one reason: in the nearby waters is the deepest place in the earth's crust , the Mariana Trench.
Main data of interest
The length of the pit is equivalent to a round trip from Madrid to Paris (2500 kilometers) and its average width is 70 kilometers.
The deepest point is the Challenger chasm and reaches 11,034 meters (this name is related to the British ship HMS Challenger that starred in its discovery in the fifteenth century).
In 1960 a Soviet bathyscaphe was the first to reach the deepest point of the pit. The geologists verified that the structure of the pit coincides with the geographical distribution of the Mariana Islands.
In 2012 the Canadian filmmaker James Cameron descended alone with a submersible to the depths of the pit and his feat was collected in a documentary , "Deepsea Challenge 3D".
From a geological point of view the formation of the pit was produced by the action of two tectonic plates
In the depths of the pit, living organisms and curious creatures have been found: sponges, previously unknown plankton shapes, large octopus, giant squid, sea shells and a new species (a slug fish whose name is Mariana snailfish).
The deepest abyss on the planet has a great interest for the scientific community
The Mariana Trench not only has the world record in depth. Scientists study their depths for a fundamental reason: explain how the species have adapted to such a hostile environment . Keep in mind that it is an absolutely dark place, temperatures are extremely low and the atmospheric pressure is a thousand times higher than what exists on the surface.
One of the aspects that attracts attention to the scientific community is the high level of microbial activity.
The data that have been collected have a zoological interest, but they are also relevant to better understand two phenomena: the action of underwater earthquakes and climate change .