Only 18 people have ever dared to travel to this part of the world.
Dubai resident Hamish Harding pulled off what could be one of the world’s most daring feats on Friday: he plunged into Earth’s deepest – and perhaps most alien – realm, the pit of the Marianas.
At 4 p.m., the British explorer emerged from the depths of the Challenger Deep trench which, at nearly 7 miles deep, is more than 13 times the height of Burj Khalifa.
Only 18 people have ever dared to travel to this part of the world, the deepest known point of the Earth’s seabed hydrosphere. The first submersible hit the ocean floor in 1960 and only spent 20 minutes on the bottom before rising again.
Harding, president of Action Aviation, took the plunge in a specially designed DSV Limiting Factor, a two-person deep-diving vehicle, with famous underwater explorer Victor Vescovo. After nearly 12 hours, they reappeared on the surface, completing an adventure that should set a new Guinness World Record for “greatest distance traveled at full depth in the ocean”.
But why go so far? Harding and Vescovo were on a mission: as they crossed the ocean floor, they used the robotic arm of their submersible to collect sample samples that will be analyzed by scientists aboard the expedition yacht who will take them. accompanied.
Harding, 49, dedicated this historic dive to the UAE’s commitment to exploration and science. He wanted to search for evidence of human pollution at the deepest point of the Earth and search for new species living nearly 11 km below sea level.
Before insisting on the record-breaking dive, Harding said, “As an explorer and adventurer, I want this expedition to contribute to our shared knowledge and understanding of planet Earth … And, by looking for signs of human pollution in this remote region. environment, we hope to support scientific efforts aimed at protecting our oceans and ensuring their development for millennia to come.
He added: “I have long been inspired by the spirit of adventure and exploration of my home country, the United Arab Emirates, the feeling that anything is possible. I am proud to represent the United Arab Emirates as the first resident of the Middle East to dive the Mariana Trench to the lowest point on Earth, the Challenger Deep. “
Throughout the ultimate adventure, the expat’s 13-year-old son Giles cheered him on by documenting his quest on his Instagram channel @ giles.explores. At around 3:45 p.m. Friday, the boy, who remained aboard the expedition yacht, posted: “So close !! In a moment, Captain Hamish Harding will complete his historic descent to the bottom of the deepest point of the Mariana Trench. After becoming the first human to cross the entirety of the Challenger Deep, it’s time to welcome Captain Harding to the surface of the Pacific.
After about 12 minutes, Giles shared, “Congratulations to Captain Hamish Harding @actionaviationchairman for completing his expedition to the world’s lowest point, #Challengedeep and becoming the first human to cross the entire Challenger Deep.”
“We couldn’t be more excited to hear your thoughts on the trip, Captain! More information awaits the Deep Submersible vessel to be recovered.
Giles is a student at Dubai College and will continue his distance learning from the ship in one of the most extreme environments in the world.