The question of how deep is a deep sea has been answered differently in different times. Older versions considered a depth of less than 200 meters as deep sea. With scientific advancement, the deep sea is now defined as the lowest aquatic layer in the sea between the thermocline and the seabed. Thermocline is a thin aquatic layer wherein the temperature changes at a much faster rate than in the layers above or below it. For all practical purposes a deep sea is deeper than 1,800 meters. The uppermost strata of the sea are distinguished from other layers of sea in respect of being most lit. Light intensity decreases with the increase in depth and also with the increase in turbidity. Problems encountered in deep sea diving are reduced oxygen and highly increased pressure.
1. James Cameron
James Francis Cameron, commonly known as James Cameron, was born to Shirley and Phillip Cameron on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He is a film producer, director and deep sea explorer. He is considered an ambidextrous artist cum scientist. With the production of the hit film Terminator, he came into prominence in 1984. Great successes followed him with his famous works, including Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2, Judgment Day, True Lies, Avatar and his biggest film, Titanic for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director and Film Editing. He was nominated for six Academy Awards, of which he won three for Titanic. On March 26, 2012 Cameron experienced the deepest sea diving by reaching the bottom of the Mariana Trench, which is the deepest part of the ocean. He performed it in the Deep Sea Challenger submersible. He is the first person to dive solo and the third person to ever reach the deepest place of the ocean.
2. John Chatterton
John Chatterton was born in 1951 and died in December 2003 in a diving accident during an expedition to Palau. He is one of the most famous and accomplished wreck divers. He worked as a commercial diver in New York City for 20 years. On 9/11, he was working under the World Financial Tower #1. He had been involved in diving and researching deep shipwrecks. He was the member of the technical diving expedition to find the legendary RMS Lusitania in 1994. He was the first diver to use a rebreather during the expedition to find the wreck of HMHS Britannic. He was also involved in the diving expeditions to find wrecks of MV Struma and SS Andrea Doria. He is best known for his 12,500 feet deep sea diving in an MIR submersible to research the most famous ship wreck of RMS Titanic. The History Channel featured the exploration in Titanic’s Final Moments ‘ Missing Pieces.
3. Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Jacques-Yves Cousteau, commonly known as Jacques Cousteau, was born to Daniel and Elisabeth Cousteau on June 11, 1910 in Saint-Andre-de-Cubzac, Gironde, France. He died on June 25, 1997 at the age of 87 years in Paris. He was a French naval officer, film maker and explorer. He was a member of the Academie franÃ§aise and is known for co-developing the aqua-lung in the 1940s, which ultimately became the source of developing the modern open circuit scuba technology. He has been honored with many awards, including Grand Cross of the National Order of the Merit, Commander of the Legion of Honor, Commander of the Order of Arts and letters, and National Geographic Society’s Special Gold Medal. He said, ‘The Sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: We are all in the same boat.’
4. John Day
John Day is recorded on the timeline of deep sea diving on account of his innovation which failed to prove. Day was an English carpenter and with help of Christopher Blake, a gambler, he developed a wooden diving chamber without any engine. Blake purchased a 50-ton sailboat, Maria, with a single mast, for Â£340.The diving chamber was attached to it. About 50 tons of ballast was arranged in four portions. Day intended to dive to a depth of 130 feet and stay for 12 hours. Maria was towed to Drake’s Island north of Plymouth Sound, England. Drake took with him a candle, water and some biscuits. After locking the boat, weights were loaded and with it the boat sank, never to ascend again. There had been some fatal mistake in the plan.
5. Jacques Piccard
Jacques Piccard was born on July 28, 1922, Brussels, Belgium and died on November 1, 2008 at the age of 86 years in Cully, Switzerland. He was Swiss oceanographer known for deep sea diving. The U.S. Navy bought Piccard’s bathyscaphe, Trieste. On January 23, 1960 he, along with Lt. Don Walsh, reached the deepest point on the earth’s crust, the Mariana trench, which is 35,797 feet deep. The expedition took five hours in descending, with 20 minutes to stay at the bottom, and it took three hours and 15 minutes to ascend to the surface. Their descent to the depth of 3,000 feet was smooth, but after that a loud sound was heard and minor cracks in the sight glass were noted. They were, on this account, constrained to cut short their stay at the sea bed.
6. Robert Pierre Andre Stenuit
Robert Pierre Andre Stenuit was born in 1933 in Brussels; Belgium. He is a well-known underwater archeologist and writer. He is best known for being the first aquanaut in the world, after spending 24 hours on the bed of the Mediterranean Sea, in the submersible Link Cylinder. Link’s yacht, the Sea Diver was used in the experiment. Stenuit used Heliox, a mixture of helium and oxygen, during the conduct of the experiment. Stenuit’s other notable achievements include recovery of Girona, which was part of the Invincible Armada, recovery of Slot ter Hooge with lot of gold and the recovery of spices and Ming porcelain from the Witte Leeuw wreck.
7. Odd Henrik Johnsen
Odd Henrik Johnsen was born on February 3, 1927 in Bode and died on February 4, 2010. He was a Norwegian deep sea diver. He was the first diver to descend on DS Rabat. In 1965, he worked on the sunken ship DS Skjerstad. In the engine room he found an unexploded bomb from the Second World War. The Navy was called for help to blow the bomb, which exploded with full force, turning the sunken ship merely into debris. Johnsen had been the chairman of the Sea Rescue NSSR for many years. He participated in many different diving missions. He was the founding member of the Bodo Froskemannsklubb. He started professional deep sea diving in 1955.
8. Don Walsh
Don Walsh was born on November 2, 1931. He is an American oceanographer. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1954 and was commissioned as a naval officer in the United States Navy. He retired as captain from the U.S. Navy. He had spent more than 15 years on sea, of which most of his time was spent in submarines. He is best known for accompanying Jacques Piccard, on board the bathyscaphe Trieste, when the made the record descent of 35,798 feet into the Mariana Trench. He received his doctorate in physical oceanography from Texas A&M University. Life magazine named Walsh as one of the world’s greatest explorers. National Geographic awarded him the Hubbard Medal.
9. William Beebe
William Beebe was born on July 29, 1877 in Brooklyn, New York and died on June 4, 1962 at the age of 84 years in Trinidad. He was raised in East Orange, New Jersey. He was an American marine biologist and explorer. He is best known for his numerous deep sea diving expedition in the submersible, bathysphere. The expeditions were mainly conducted for the New York Zoological Society. In 1930, he conducted many deep sea diving expeditions in bathysphere, along with its inventor Otis Barton. He set many deep sea diving records in his time.
10. Frederick Otis Barton, Jr.
Frederick Otis Barton, Jr. was born in New York on June 5, 1899 and died on April 15, 1992. He was an American deep sea diver and an actor. He is best known for designing the famous bathysphere submersible. Along with William Beebe, he set the first deep sea diving record by descending to the depth of 600 feet. They set another record by diving to the depth of 3,028 in 1934. In 1949 they set another record at the depth of 4,500 feet. Barton was a main actor in the Hollywood movie, Titans of the Deep.
In 1960 Piccard and Don Walsh boarded the research device Bathyscaphe Trieste to descend to the bottom of the Mariana Trench near Guam, which is 6.77 miles or 10,911 meters deep, which exceeds the height of Mount Everest being 8,848 feet high. Considered the deepest place on the earth, it is a lightless zone, where no photosynthesis is possible.