The Mariana Trench is in the Western Pacific and is some 1,580 miles long and average is only around 43 miles in width. The Mariana Trench is the deepest part of the ocean and at its deepest point; it's almost seven miles deep. The Mariana Trench is a part the valleys that spans across the ocean floor that is between two tectonic plates that come together.
Wildlife in the trench
After hours of studying footage that was brought back from the Mariana Trench, scientists found different types of animals. They categorized them into three basic groups: gigantic, nearly invisible, and really weird. Much of the wildlife found within the Trench is considered to be rare, therefore there is little known about it in general. Thanks to the diving team spearheaded by James Cameron, we now know that biodiversity within the Trench decreases with depth. Unlike some other trenches, there is no nearby land to lend a hand in creating a habitable environment for a large number of species. The Mariana trench can only support larger species and smaller species that feed off the scraps provided by those larger animals.
Mapping the trench
Many scientists and explorers have tried to map the entire Trench, however due to a lack of sufficient equipment, it has been unsuccessful thus far. However, they have given rough estimates of how deep and how vast the Trench could be. It is believed that the Trench covers 400,000 square kilometers, with multiple ridges rising some 2,500 meters above the floor. These ridges are about 180 million years old, and have been formed through the collision of the Pacific and Philippine tectonic plates. While scientists themselves have not gone to the deepest part of the Trench, they have estimated that it is roughly 10,994 meters deep. This deepest point within the Trench is known as the Challenger Deep.
Finding new species
As more and more technology is created that is able to withstand the immense pressure in the Mariana Trench, more new species will be discovered. It is estimated that we've only found 10% of both animal and plant species held within the Trench. As scientists continue to explore the depths of the Trench, it is almost certain that they will find more unique and rare plant and animal species not found anywhere else on the planet.
Other closely related articles in this wiki include:
- Mooney et al., 2013. Evolution of natural and social science interactions in global change research programs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, v. 110, p. 3665-3672.
- Gardner, J. (n.d.). UNH Ocean Scientists Shed New Light on Mariana Trench. Accessed October 29, 2015.
- geology.com. (n.d.). Deepest Part of the Ocean - Deepest Ocean Trench. Accesses September 18, 2015.
- New video shows life in the deepest ocean From earthsky.org
- What Lives at the Bottom of the Mariana Trench? More Than You Might Think - The Artful Amoeba From the Scientific American Blog Network
- How We Found World’s Deepest Fish In The Mariana Trench – And Why We must Keep Exploring From IFLScience
- Unexpected Life Found In The Ocean’s Deepest Trench From NPR
- About the Mariana Trench - DEEPSEA CHALLENGE Expedition From National Geographic
- Mariana Trench: The Deepest Depths From livescience.com
- New Species and Surprising Findings in the Mariana Trench From the Schmidt Ocean Institute