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back to article James Cameron back from dive to world's deepest point

Filmmaker James Cameron has made it back from his first excursion into the deepest point on the Earth's surface, the bottom of the Challenger Deep at nearly 36,000 feet below the ocean waves. Cameron is the third person to make it to the bottom of the Challenger Deep, and the only person to make the trip alone. His submarine, …

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Shooting in 3D of absolutely nothing and collecting no samples.

Is this still a success story? How low can you go...

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Re: Shooting in 3D of absolutely nothing and collecting no samples.

It's not like me to defend Cameron, but having read that they are planning more trips down there, I think it's fair to say that the trip was a success. The mechanical failure that prevented sample collection can surely be fixed, and if future trips do manage to bring back samples, that will add to the project's success. In the meantime, the project is a success for having shown that the submersible worked almost perfectly. That's my take on it, anyway.

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Re: Shooting in 3D of absolutely nothing and collecting no samples.

To be fair- you can't go any lower...

Well done JC.

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Go

Re: Shooting in 3D of absolutely nothing and collecting no samples.

"Is this still a success story? How low can you go..."

Technically very clever but no worthwhile content - business as usual for Mr Cameron, that'll the Avatar sequel wrapped then :-)

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Happy

Pretty good for an ex-lorry driver!

This guy has done slightly-well for himself :)

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N2

Re: Shooting in 3D of absolutely nothing and collecting no samples.

Youve obviously never been to sea in a submarine, let alone dived in one

So fuck off.

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Re: Shooting in 3D of absolutely nothing and collecting no samples.

Apparently you CAN go lower, as another bloke called Cameron has demonstrated recently...

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Credit where credit is due

Avatar is an awful pile of banal merde and Titanic is on my list of movies that I hope to go to my grave never having seen (along with Star Wars 1-3), but this enterprise is making me think much more highly of Cameron. Not just a dilettante, he's obviously a serious and knowledgeable enthusiast, and it's great to see someone in his position putting his money where his mouth is and advancing science in the process. I never thought I would say these words again, but now I must: "There's a James Cameron film I'm really looking forward to seeing".

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Re: Credit where credit is due

For all his questionable talents as a filmmaker (I quite liked "Aliens," myself), he seems quite serious about exploration. He's a National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence, something you don't get to be just by being a casual tourist, and he's also got an interesting string of inventions to his name. He's reportedly the designer of the sub that made the descent, and he also reportedly helped design the cameras on the Mars Spirit and Opportunity rovers.

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Re: Credit where credit is due

I agree on Titanic. I will eventually shuffle off never having watched it, unless some day I fall foul of the government's never-ending quest to find more activities to criminalise and find that an enforced viewing of the thing has been chosen as a handy punishment.

As for Avatar, I'm going to be brave (or foolhardy, more like) and say that I rather like the film. Story isn't in any way original (very like Dune, in fact), but I find the whole experience to be stunning and absorbing. I've yet to see a better use of film-making technolgy.

There, I said it.

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Re: Credit where credit is due

'Avatar' (or if you prefer 'Ferngully the Last of the Rainforest Mohicans... IN SPAAAAAAAAAAAAACE!', starring the Smurfs) was FROM A TECHNICAL POINT OF VIEW one of the greatest films made. The use of CGI was a step above anything we've seen before, and will be thought of in the same way as the tech in 'Abyss' or 'T2'.

Sadly, as we can probably guess from the derogatory name given above, the plot was awful! If it'd just been a tech-demo, that'd be fine. As a commercial film - no thanks.

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Re: Credit where credit is due

Avatar was fun enough - most mainstream sci-fi-lite action adventures are worse.

Titanic was not dreadful either - most mainstream romantic dramas are way worse.

I think the problem with both wasn't the films themselves but the hype around them - if they had been made cheaply and not been popular no one would mind that they weren't Citizen Kane / The Lives of Others / Star Wars / pick a classic or cult film of your choice.

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FAIL

Re: Credit where credit is due

You mean Pocahontas in space don't you?

http://failblog.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/epic-fail-avatar-plot-fail.jpg

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Alert

As a claustrophobe....

ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG !!!!!!!

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Rob
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Re: As a claustrophobe....

I agree, although I don't think I could even get to the scream. I dose up on chill pills just to get on a plane.

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Unhappy

"abort their visit early after one of the windows cracked after the descent."

I would definitely had to change my underwear afterwards had I been on that dive.

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Re: "abort their visit early after one of the windows cracked after the descent."

What do you think they used to patch the crack?

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Pacifist aliens?

You obviously didn't see the director's cut where they threatened to annihilate the world, then. Much better ending, incidentally.

You can rail on Cameron (quite rightly) for Titanic and Avatar. I saw 2 minutes of the latter on a demo screen at HMV and it seemed pretty terrible, but most people lapped it up because it was pretty. That said, you shouldn't forget that he made Abyss, Aliens, and the two Terminator movies. That's not a CV I would scoff at.

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Re: Pacifist aliens?

" I saw 2 minutes of the latter on a demo screen at HMV and it seemed pretty terrible"

I saw 2 minutes of Citizen Kane once. Looked dreadful.

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Re: Pacifist aliens?

2 minutes was all I could stand of the cliche-ridden dialogue, and was more than enough to figure out the plot of the next 20 minutes, ta very much. I don't have to watch all of a shit movie to detect that it's shit. Go watch the first 2 minutes of Transmorphers, then try and convince me that the rest of it's going to be a masterpiece, sarky arse.

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Terminator

"I'm bottom of the WORLD!!!!!"

(quote - probably)

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Obligatory Abyss quote

"Hands up who thought that was a Russian water tentacle?"

Classic line.

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Re: Obligatory Abyss quote

but not as good as:

"God, I hate that bitch!"

"Probably shouldn't have married her, then."

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blah title blah

I won't get back the minutes of my life wasted watching Avatar and Titanic , both films are unutterable bad (IMHO natch !) and yes I agree he has made some good stuff in the past but I always like rich people behaving like Howard Hughes.

If Paul Allen and James Cameron can help us explore new things by using their own money then good on 'em , probably isn't their own money seeing as the trip was sponsored, but more of Bilionaires spending money of stuff us mere mortals can only dream of, I mean what other point is there to being that minted

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WR
Headmaster

Computer games taught me nothing

I played Civ and numerous other resource/builder type games.

I know that the best way to advance is to create a class that don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from and can devote 100% of their resources to the crazy wacked out shit rank and file population can only dream about.

No really.... It actually works.

Way to go JC.

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I'm curious about what sort of hardening they will need to do on the fibre-optic cable if he wants to drag it with him on his next jaunt.

Also I am getting ready to complain that the most inaccessible spot on the planet has a better connection speed than 90% of blighty.

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Not much, I would think.

Even down in the Challenger Deep, fiber optic cable is solid (low compressibility) and pretty thin (low surface area). I don't think solid cable would have too much difficulty in hyperbaric situations.

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Ru
Boffin

"I had this idea that life would adapt to the deep"

Life does adapt to exist in really deep ocean regions, but only where there is a source of food and energy. The Cayman Trough is a mere 5000m deep... less than half that of the Challenger Deep, admittedly, but the deep sea hydrothermal vents in it support a thriving ecosystem.

No light, no heat, no food (any falling nutrients would have been gobbled up by things living in more hospitable regions several kilometres up) so why would there be anything alive down there?

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JDX
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Re: "I had this idea that life would adapt to the deep"

>>so why would there be anything alive down there?

Because if nothing can live there easily, that means it is uncontested. Many very extreme environments support super-specialised life forms which find the lack of competition makes the unbearable just bearable.

It's a reasonable theory life would be down there... in fact I bet microscopic life does exist there.

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jai
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Re: "I had this idea that life would adapt to the deep"

There's life, Jim (Cameron), but not as we know it...

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Ru

Re: "I had this idea that life would adapt to the deep"

Indeed, I have just been reading about "xenophyophores", which are entirely new to me.

Also been learning about interesting things, like the fact that extreme pressure affects cell membrane chemistry so more conventional organisms simply cannot get nutrients into their cells.

Still, doesn't sound like anything actually multicellular lives down here.

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Ru

Re: "I had this idea that life would adapt to the deep"

Huh, in fact sources elsewhere mention that Cameron's trip saw lots of Xenophyophores (which are bloody big for unicellular organisms... 10cm+ across) and the Trieste trip back in the 60s apparently saw a shrimp and a bottom-dwelling fish of some kind.

No idea if anyone has substantiated the latter, but clearly Cameron did find living things. Maybe they just weren't cool enough for him to mention.

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Re: "I had this idea that life would adapt to the deep"

Falling nutrients are *not* necessarily gobbled up by things higher up. What happens to a whale carcass falling to the ocean floor is a great example of that. Sure the whale carcass is going to fall through a whole lot more water to get to the bottom of the Challenger Deep, but most of the noshing action happens when the carcass has hit the ground, not as it descends. And the "sludge" kicked up by the submersibles will be pure nutrients - dead stuff drifting down from above.

The heat is the more pressing problem (even more so than the pressure itself). Life probably can make itself at home there, but only under conditions (becoming relatively large and moving veeerrrryyyy ssssllllooowwwwlllly) which minimise energy expenditure. So complex life, and in particular predatory life, are not likely to be happening.

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Re: "I had this idea that life would adapt to the deep"

There may well be, but the conditions 11km down make the possible conditions extremely limited. There's too much water for light to get through, it's pretty isolated (we're talking a trench--a deep sea chasm), so there's probably little to no ocean currents, and last it's been checked there are no geothermal outputs down there. All this adds up to a limiting factor--a lack of either energy with which to sustain life or nutrients that can be converted into energy though biological processes.

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Anonymous Coward

JC's big day out

He said its like a lunarscape.

To most that means grey and featureless .

To sci fi/ comic book fans that means wierd lunar creatures and space domes.

Nice little adventure for him though in between mega blockbusters.

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Paris Hilton

Featureless Bottoms

May I suggest - nay, dare I hope - that Mr Cameron makes a film that is quite the opposite?

On a more helpful note - when he said ""The bottom was completely featureless......." he'll find that on his next dive it won't be. He can look at the ballast from his first dive.

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It's a shame the biology aspect didn't do so well though I'm sure the focus was on surviving the descent. It's not true there's no life at that depth and the BBC has a page covering unmanned visits to the same trench which also includes videos of life (shrimp sized not microbial) at those depths.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8426132.stm

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@James 36: and what is your fav film???

.. or does avatar & titanic not have enough explosions and 'space' stuff in it for you???

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Re: @James 36: and what is your fav film???

The vital ingredients that make up a great film are - explosions, aliens, zombies, vampires and naked ladies. Once I find the backing to make my magnus opus, "Attack of the Naked Zombie Vampire Ladies from Spaaaaace!!!" the global film industry may as well shut down.

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Next Time

Could he take every copy of Dancing with Smurfs with him and leave them there at least he would of done something more than grab the attention he is so desperate for.

And I've seen all this with Branson so it's old hat, liked The Abyss but the message trying to tell the world what to do ruined the end.

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And the spiky question,...

is what is he doing off his farm he recently bought in New Zealand ,and will the kill-joys there grumble about "residency requirements" and "days spent" and "bending the rules" (like they did when the Hobbit production got tax breaks,) while ignoring the fact that nearly everyone now knows where NZ is and what goes on there.

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As much as I didn't care for Avatar, it was still better than his ex wife's movie, The Hurt Locker.

However, as far as I am concerned, he can make all the popular films he wants as long as he continues to use is money to do science/exploration.

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Portholes?

Does the thing have portholes to look out of, or does the pilot just watch everything on viewscreens?

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Red Bren & James 36 outed as spotty teens!!

hey yes, it may be lovely to make your film, wish you luck on getting funding!!!!

guess what film made LESS than $1000 million ???

unlike the rest, that made almost $3000 million.... :)

I'm sure you would like some of those millions, instead of asking people would they like fries with that....

http://www.imdb.com/boxoffice/alltimegross?region=world-wide

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