Julian Derrick The Mariana Trench The ocean is deep, but where exactly does it end? The end is one of the scariest and darkest places on Earth. The Mariana Trench is the deepest place on the Earth, deeper than the Grand Canyon. Sunlight cannot reach the deepest parts of the Mariana Trench but it seems to have a thriving ecosystem. The lack of sunlight makes it interesting and unique. Everyone has probably heard of the Mariana Trench at one time in their life, but what exactly is it? “The Mariana Trench is a crescent-shaped trench in the Western Pacific, just east of the Mariana Islands near Guam. The region surrounding the trench is noteworthy for many unique environments. “The Mariana Trench contains the deepest known points on Earth, vents bubbling up liquid sulfur and carbon dioxide, active mud volcanoes and marine life adapted to pressures 1,000 times that at sea level.The ocean’s second-deepest place is also in the Mariana Trench. The Sirena Deep, which lies 124 miles (200 kilometers) to the east of Challenger Deep, is a bruising 35,462 feet deep (10,809 m).By comparison, Mount Everest stands at 29,026 feet (8,848 m) above sea level, meaning the deepest part of the Mariana Trench is 7,044 feet (2,147 m) deeper than Everest is tall. The Mariana Trench is 1,580 miles (2,542 kilometers) long — more than five times the length of the Grand Canyon. However, the narrow trench averages only 43 miles (69 km) wide.Because Guam is a U.S. territory and the 15 Northern Mariana Islands are a U.S. Commonwealth, the United States has jurisdiction over the Mariana Trench. In 2009, President George W. Bush established the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument, which created a protected marine reserve for the approximately 195,000 square miles (506,000 square km) of seafloor and waters surrounding the remote islands. It includes most of the Mariana Trench, 21 underwater volcanoes and areas around three islands. A chain of volcanoes that rise above the ocean waves to form the Mariana Islands mirrors the crescent-shaped arc of the Mariana Trench. Interspersed with the islands are many strange undersea volcanoes.For example, the Eifuku submarine volcano spews liquid carbon dioxide from hydrothermal vents similar to chimneys. The liquid coming out of these chimneys is 217 degrees Fahrenheit (103 degrees Celsius). At the Daikoku submarine volcano, scientists discovered a pool of molten sulfur 1,345 feet (410 m) below the ocean surface, something seen nowhere else on Earth.”-Becky Oskin, Contributing Writer | October 8, 2014 09:40 pm ET The Mariana Trench was formed by earthquakes and tectonic plates. Years and years of damage caused the ground to open and make the Mariana Trench. This happened over 180 million years ago.”The Mariana Trench was created by the process that occurs in a subduction zone, where two massive slabs of oceanic crust collide. At a subduction zone, one piece of oceanic crust is pushed and pulled underneath the other, sinking into the Earth’s mantle, the layer under the crust. Where the two pieces of crust intersect, a deep trench forms above the bend in the sinking crust. In this case, the Pacific Ocean crust is bending below the Philippine crust. Infographic: Tallest Mountain to Deepest Ocean TrenchThe Pacific crust, also called a tectonic plate, is about 180 million years old where it dives into the trench. The Philippine plate is younger and smaller than the Pacific plate.”At subduction zones, the cold, dense crust sinks back into the mantle and is destroyed,” said Nicholas van der Elst, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York. As deep as the trench is, it is not the spot closest to the center of Earth. Because the planet bulges at the equator, the radius at the poles is about 16 miles (25 km) less than the radius at the equator. So, parts of the Arctic Ocean seabed are closer to the Earth’s center than the Challenger Deep.The crushing water pressure on the floor of the trench is more than 8 tons per square inch (703 kilograms per square meter). This is more than 1,000 times the pressure felt at sea level, or the equivalent of having 50 jumbo jets piled on top of a person.”-Becky Oskin, Contributing Writer | October 8, 2014 09:40 pm ET. Life in the Trench seems impossible but it isn’t. Hundreds of animals live in the Mariana Trench. For the most part small things like shrimp, amoeba, sea cucumbers, and plankton but there are few that have adapted in extremely unique ways. These animals aren’t normal joes. The black Dragonfish has fang-like teeth, Bioluminescence,and it looks like the alien from alien vs. predator.The dragonfish can only be found at depth from 5,000 to 7,000 ft. The Dragonfish looks offley like an eel. The Barreleye fish is a chubby looking fish that has its own flashlight. The barreleye fish’s head is transparent. The bioluminescence in the head is seen and used to navigate through the dark Trench. These are used like headlights in a car. The seadevil anglerfishlooks like the monster from finding nemo. The seadevil angler has a dangling light above its head to sea. Instead of hunting like most animals in the Mariana Trench,the angler sits and waits. It sits and waits with its mouth open. It looks pretty creepy. It’s like a van chilling in one spot looking for kids to take. The hatchetfish is one of the only animals in the world that can fully control it’s bioluminescence. They are brown when not lit up and have a flat body. The eyes are extremely big for the size of its body. The position of its strange eyes allow it to see predators from above. The hatchetfish along with others have an organ called photophores. This is what produces the unique bioluminescence. The life of a hatchetfish is less than a year long. The frilled shark also known as the “sea serpent” is an eel-like animal that lives in the deeper parts of the trench. The frilled shark has more than 300 unique teeth, can reach depths of up to 5,200ft and can only reach length of 7 ft long.Several groups of fish use luminous bacterial symbionts as their source of light. “Shallow-water species (e.g., ponyfish and pinecone fish) utilize bacteria (Photobacterium leiognathi and P. fischeri, respectively) that grow best at warm temperatures. Deep-sea fishes (e.g., rat tails and spookfish) have a different symbiont (P. phosphoreum) that does better in colder water. All these fishes have photophores that open into the gut; their symbionts are extracellular and can be grown in laboratory cultures. It is assumed that the symbionts are somehow selected from the normal gut flora. Two particular families of fishes, the shallow-water flashlight fishes and deep-sea angler fishes, have photophores that do not open to the gut, though, like all the bacterial light organs of squid and other fishes, they do open to the sea water via pores. The bacteria of these two groups of fishes are also extracellular but cannot yet be cultured. They do not belong to any known species, though they are closely related to the other symbionts. It is not known how they are reacquired in each generation. Bacteria glow continually, so these photophores have to be occluded to turn the light off.” P.J. Heeringa, E.A. Widderb, in Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences (Second Edition), 2001 Can people go into the Mariana Trench? Well it depends and there are three reasons why. First of all the trip would be way to cold and deep. One, you would need special training to be able to stand the pressure and cold. Second, we still dont know whats down there most people are scared to go because of that fact. The animals we do know about are extremely dangerous and we don’t know how they would react to people. Even the small things could kill. The zombie worm has strong acid that could break down animals and maybe ships. Third, the Mariana Trench is protected land meaning you need permits to travel the trench. Few have gone down to the trench though. In 2012, James Cameron an actor, director and deep-sea explorer made a trip to the Mariana Trench. He travelled in the “challenger”. The challenger was his famous submarine. He is the only man to explore the trench solo. By the time he made it at least half ways he had discovered animals and plants no has ever seen. He documented and recorded every single one. James made it to depths of 10,000ft .Now we just send cameras down but every once in awhile a brave team goes down. Only four teams have made successful trips down the mariana trench. Two teams went in the 1900’s but soon stopped after the public found out that once the teams made it 2 miles down the trench the windows began to crack from the pressure. Anyone who even thought of exploring the Trench immediately changed their mind. People began to think of the fears and problems that came with the ocean. Like the thought of drowning, the darkness, and being eaten alive. No one even dreaded going to the Mariana Trench until James Cameron. The aspects of the Mariana Trench makes it an interesting and scary topic. It has a cool formation and a uniquely thriving ecosystem. It creates new experiences if you dare to explore it but in my opinion it would be worth the adventure. I mean if you like darkness, possible insanity from pressure, the thought of drowning, and being eaten alive my monsters. Then this was for you.