are intrigued by how rapidly vent chimneys grow up to 30 feet in
18 months. A scientist at the University of Washington has been monitoring
the growth of "Godzilla," a vent chimney in the Pacific Ocean
off the Oregon coast. It reached the height of a 15-story building before
it toppled and is actively rebuilding.
The Mariana Trench is a depression in the Pacific Ocean,
east of the Mariana Islands. Within it, about 210 miles southwest
of Guam, lies the deepest known point on Earth. Named the "Challenger
Deep" for the British survey ship Challenger II that located
it in 1951, this underwater gorge plunges to nearly 7 miles!
In 1960, Swiss scientist Jacques Piccard (above in this
photo) and Navy lieutenant Donald Walsh made history when they descended
in the U.S. Navy bathyscaphe Trieste to the bottom of the
Mariana Trench. The brave divers were housed in a sphere attached
to the bottom of the bathyscaphe's long buoyant tank.
in with grad student Letise Houser, our shipboard education coordinator,
for a daily account of the expedition.