Big Deep

Sometime within the last two days James Cameron “folded his 6-foot-2-inch frame into a 43-inch-wide capsule and plummeted, alone, down five miles in the New Britain Trench off Papua New Guinea. His feat, in a 24-foot-long craft dubbed the Deepsea Challenger, broke by a mile the world depth record for modern vehicles that a Japanese submersible had held,” according to a 3.8 N.Y. Times story by William J. Broad.

But Cameron “wants to go deeper,” he continues. “This month, Mr. Cameron plans to plunge nearly seven miles to the planet’s most inaccessible spot: the Challenger Deep in the western Pacific, an alien world thought to swarm with bizarre eels and worms, fish and crustaceans. He wants to spend six hours among them, filming the creatures and sucking up samples with a slurp gun.

“It’s a blast,” Mr. Cameron told Broad during sea trials of his new craft. “There’s nothing more fun than getting bolted into this and seeing things that human beings have never seen before. Forget about red carpets and all that glitzy stuff.”

There appears to be some dispute when the five-mile dive occured. A National Geographic story says it happened on Tuesday, 3.6. Broad’s 3.8 N.Y. Times account says Cameron descended on Wednesday, 3.7. An MSNBC report by Andrea Mustain says the dive happened “last week.”

22 thoughts on “Big Deep

  1. Next week Cameron hopes to wrestle the trident away from Neptune and declare himself “The King Of The Underworld” as well.

  2. How can you set a ‘world record’ in a ‘modern vehicle’? Some guy went 7 miles down years ago, iirc, so that’s why the weird qualifier?

    Sounds like he’s having fun though.

  3. I think this is great. I love aquatic stuff, and marine life, and can’t wait to see what Cameron can find down there. There are fascinating creatures down lower in the water, and near the heat vents. If he can get decent footage, it could be amazing.

  4. Every once in a while we get a chance to put the snark in the closet, throw out the irony and jealousy and cranky attitude and just go…..

    “DUDE!!!!!!!!!!”

    Very effing cool, very effing impressive.

    Nerds don’t try this at home.

  5. The guy’s a fucking legend. This is the reason why his blockbusters are so good, the things he does in his real life are folded back into them.

  6. I love the comments so far, seriously. A good reason to keep comin’ back here.

    I’ll ruin it all by saying this, though. It does bug me when guys like this get props for being ballsy and brave when in fact they’re just rich as fuck and can afford shit like this.

    And yes, I would do it if I could.

  7. Cameron is awesome. Say what you want about his films, this is a studly move. Give this man props. I doubt very few people even with Cameron’s money and resources would have the guts to pull this off. Here’s hoping we get a great footage out of it.

  8. “An alien world thought to swarm with bizarre eels and worms, fish and crustaceans. He wants to spend six hours among them, filming the creatures and sucking up samples with a slurp gun.”

    This is the exact phrase I use to describe what goes on inside a gay bathhouse to all my straight friends.

    P.S. I’m sorry. I can’t help myself today.

  9. He’s doing this to get inspired for the Avatar sequels I imagine. Hey kudos to the man, but this seven miles beneath the ocean is just insanity if he goes through it. I don’t think there’s a submersible in the entire planet that can withstand all that pressure. He’s just asking to meet his maker on that front.

  10. Travis: Better he be rich as fuck and do cool things than be rich as fuck and just try to hoard it all for hairstyled poodles, gaudy mansions, and yachts and shit, like most other rich people.

  11. This is the dive that Aussie producer Andrew Wight and filmmaker Mike deGruy were preparing to accompany Cameron on before they died in a chopper crash in Australia last month. Both were deep diving buddies of Cameron from the last decade and Wight produced SANCTUM. Wight was actually granted the running of the first international Cameron/Pace 3D camera outfit here in Melbourne, which was scheduled to open the week he died.

    Doco remembering Wight

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2aAjXDwCXY

    deGruy’s TED talk about being inspired by underwater exploration

    http://www.ted.com/talks/mike_degruy_hooked_by_octopus.html

    The two of them were filming Cameron’s new doco on the event in 3D and were taking off from the East coast of Australia when the chopper caught fire. Cameron put out a statement mourning their loss. This was a month ago so it’s ballsy – no snark here – of Cameron to forge ahead with these dives, but it’s obviously what the two of them would have wanted. There are plenty of rich guys in the world but very few of them are doing anything like this. Cameron is one of a kind and this news and event is truly awesome – especially the fact that he’s doing this crazy-brave stuff solo.. Like Ryan though, I hope those windows hold up under the pressure. Seven miles down is the last place you want something to technically fuck up.

  12. Let’s hope that 1) this isn’t another “Jesus’ Tomb” blunder, and 2) he doesn’t disturb the neon aliens.

  13. I’ll ruin it all by saying this, though. It does bug me when guys like this get props for being ballsy and brave when in fact they’re just rich as fuck and can afford shit like this.”

    Come on Travis….. if you have that much money, at least Cameron spends it on something COOL and WORTHY. Give props!!

    99% of Hollywood’s wealthy spend their billions on Bugattis, bimbos, botox and blow, with an occasional check to buy flour and shots for Angelina Jolie’s soon-to-be-adopted foreign kids to show that “they care.”

    Cameron meanwhile dives FIVE FUCKING MILES… ****ALONE****.

    Why? Because he can. And oh yeah he can afford it too.

    As long as he keeps making movies, he can have this awesome hobby as long as he wants.

    P.S. To add learning to the thread, only two men have visited Challenger Deep: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathyscaphe_Trieste

    Balls of steel. BALLS. STEEL.

  14. @Lazarus: You should know, since you spent time down there, that the King of the Underworld is Pluto. I understand hanging with Persephone can be pretty awesome, but don’t hurt the man’s feelings; his namesake planet isn’t a planet anymore.

  15. “This is the reason why his blockbusters are so good, the things he does in his real life are folded back into them.”

    Yeah! I love the part of Cameron’s real-life where he fought real-life Aliens and time-traveling robots (not to mention those dirty Arabs…).

    FYI: Ghosts of the Abyss, The Lost Tomb of Jesus, and Sanctum are not considered the “Cameron classics.”

  16. Having said that, I do admire a lot about JC’s work in relation to the fields of science, but let’s just try not to go overboard (ZING!) estimating how much of a profound effect this has on his life as a filmmaker, mmmkay?

  17. >Every once in a while we get a chance to put the snark in the closet, throw out the irony and jealousy and cranky attitude and just go…..

    >”DUDE!!!!!!!!!!”

    >Very effing cool, very effing impressive.

    >Nerds don’t try this at home.

    Yup. He may have an unpleasant personality, but Cameron is someone who seizes his dreams by the neck and makes them happen. He’s one of the best action/sci-fi directors ever, and he’s still chasing his personal tornadoes. Bags of respect for the guy.

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