What Lives at The Bottom of The Mariana Trench?

What Lives at The Bottom of The Mariana Trench?

Imagine a mountain taller than Mount Everest. Or a canyon fives times larger than the Grand Canyon. Now, picture it in the deepest part of the ocean in a place untouched by humankind. That is the Mariana Trench. Could anything live in such a place? And if so, what kind of Mariana Trench animals are you likely to find?

Discover what lives at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, including how it formed and exciting facts that most people don’t know about this mysterious place. Lets found them here in https://cedointercultural.org/‘s article.

What is the Mariana Trench?

A trench is a long, deep depression on the ocean floor that typically runs parallel to a plate boundary. The Mariana Trench, or Marianas Trench, is in the western Pacific Ocean about 124 miles east of the Mariana Islands. The Mariana Trench is the deepest oceanic trench on earth.

This scar-shaped trough has a maximum depth of 36,037 feet, almost seven miles. The deepest part of the ocean known to man is at the southern end of the trench, the Challenger Deep, with a depth of 36,201 feet (unrepeated measurements). To date, there have only been 12 dives into the Mariana Trench, totaling 22 people.

While the water at this depth is frigid, around 34° to 39° Fahrenheit, the intense pressure is what makes this area so dangerous. The pressure is 1,000 times higher than the standard sea-level atmospheric pressure.

How did this cryptic, dark trench form, and what perplexing creatures live inside?

What Lives at The Bottom of The Mariana Trench?

How Did the Mariana Trench Form?

The seafloor of the western Pacific is 180 million years old, some of the oldest in the world. This ancient crust contains thin plates that float on molten rock (mantle). Sometimes these plates crash into each other, which causes one plate to plunge into the mantle while the other rides over the top.

This process is known as subduction, and the movement causes trenches, volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis to form. The Mariana Plate and the Pacific Plate are responsible for creating the Mariana Trench, which sits on this subduction zone.

While the process sounds easy enough, subduction at the Mariana Plate has transpired for over 50 million years. The trench is in the shape of an arc, and researchers theorize its formation is due to the Mariana Plate breaking off from the Philippine Plate. The creation of the Mariana microplate (that inevitably collides with the Pacific Plate) is responsible for the Mariana Islands, which consist of active and dormant volcanoes. While this system continues to grow, scientists believe that eventually, the Mariana microplate will dissipate.

What Lives at the Bottom of the Mariana Trench?

Mariana Trench animals include xenophyophores, amphipods, and small sea cucumbers (holothurians) which all dwell at the bottom of the ocean’s deepest depression. Animals living in these depths survive in complete darkness and extreme pressure, consuming chemicals (like methane or sulfur) or those farther down the food chain.

Scientists studied these creatures found on video footage from the James Cameron 2012 expedition. Unfortunately, there is not much evidence to work with due to the extreme dangers of exploring the deep sea. With over 80% of the ocean unexplored, the possibility of new species is immense.


Xenophyophores (“bearer of foreign bodies”) are giant deep sea amoebas among the world’s largest living single-celled organisms. These protozoans live in the deepest parts of the ocean, and not much is known about them because their delicate frames make them hard to collect for research.

These organisms come in various shapes and sizes and can resemble spherical sponges, frilly sponges, tetrahedra (four-sided figures), or flattened discs. Xenophyophores are essentially lumps of cytoplasm, a viscous fluid containing nuclei.

They secrete glue-like strings of their fecal matter that attach to minerals and other objects in the environment like skeletal remains and use it to form an exoskeleton known as a test. Xenophyophores move along the sea floor like slugs and have no known predators.


Amphipods are small crustaceans found all over the ocean, but one species, in particular, inhabits this deep sea trench. The Hirondellea Gigas is a shrimp-like creature, around two inches in length, that eats fallen wood on the sea floor. These creatures can go without food for a long time but will eat almost anything and gorge themselves to the point of bursting.

These amphipods produce a wood-eating enzyme in their gut that scientists believe can be used to make ethanol. Ethanol helps manufacture drugs, plastics, and cosmetics.


Holothurians are a new species of luminous sea cucumber. And while these squishy creatures resemble a vegetable, they are actually animals closely related to starfish and urchins. Sea cucumbers are peculiar organisms with an unusual defense mechanism. When threatened, the sea cucumber contracts its muscles and forces its internal organs out of its anus.

The cucumbers observed in the deep trenches of the earth are a bright violet color and transparent. The most famous deep sea cucumber is nicknamed the “the headless chicken monster.” It may sound terrifying but watching this unusual species move through water looks like a strange yet graceful water ballet.

Mariana Snailfish

The Mariana Hadal Snailfish is the deepest fish species ever recovered from the Mariana Trench. Researchers caught this record-breaking fish 27,460 feet below sea level, and scientists theorize the maximum depth possible for fish is 27,900 feet. This species of snailfish adapted to live in extreme pressure and complete darkness. Its skin is transparent, it doesn’t have sight, and it is one of the top predators in the Mariana Trench.

Interesting Facts About the Mariana Trench

  • In 1960, Don Walsh (US Army Lieutenant) and Jacques Piccard (engineer) were the first people to descend into the depths of the Mariana Trench.
  • The United States controls the deepest part of the trench, the Challenger Deep, and dedicated it as a national monument.
  • If you put Mount Everest (the tallest mountain in the world) inside the Mariana Trench, its peak would still be 7,000 feet below sea level.
  • The Mariana Trench, the deepest place on earth, has extraordinary pollution levels. The levels outpace those found in a heavily polluted Chinese River.
  • Divers inside the trench have recovered plastic bags and candy wrappers. Humans still affect even the most remote places in the world.
  • Researchers recorded strange metallic sounds from the Mariana Trench. After much debate, they concluded the sound was coming from baleen whales.
  • What lives at the bottom of the Mariana Trench? New and unique creatures, plus many more scientists have not discovered!

The Mariana Trench Is 7 Miles Deep: What’s Down There?

The Mariana Trench Is 7 Miles Deep: What's Down There?

The Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean is so deep your bones would literally dissolve. What’s down there in its black, crushing depths? Keep reading on this https://cedointercultural.org/‘s article to know more about it.

The Trench sits like a crescent-shaped dent in the floor of the Pacific Ocean, extending over 1500 miles long with an average width around 43 miles and a depth of almost 7 miles (or just under 36,201 feet). At that depth, the weight of all that water above makes the pressure in the Trench around 1000 times higher than it would be in, say, Miami or New York. Floor vents release bubbles of liquid sulfur and carbon dioxide. Temperatures are just above freezing, and everything is drowning in darkness.

For comparison, most ocean life lives above a depth of 660 feet. Nuclear submarines hover around 850 feet below the surface as they travel through the ocean waters. Whales aren’t usually seen below about 8,200 feet. The site of Jack and Rose’s true (albeit fictional) love, the sunken Titanic, can be found at 12,467 feet.

The Mariana Trench Is 7 Miles Deep: What's Down There?

According to National Geographic, if you were to put Mount Everest at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, its peak would still sit around 7,000 feet below sea level.

Toward the southern end of the Mariana Trench lies the Challenger Deep. It sits 36,070 feet below sea level, making it the point most distant from the water’s surface and the deepest part of the Trench.

While the number of people that have climbed to the top of Mount Everest, the Earth’s highest point, holds somewhere in the thousands, only 3 divers have ever explored the Challenger Deep. The first expedition happened in 1960 when Jacques Piccard and Navy Lt. Don Walsh reached the Challenger Deep in a U.S. Navy submersible. They were only able to spend 20 minutes there due to the extreme pressures, and their arrival stirred up too much dust from the seafloor for them to take any pictures.

The next visitor didn’t arrive until over 50 years later in 2012, when filmmaker and science fiction aficionado James Cameron solo dived to the Challenger Deep in a submarine he designed himself. Cameron was able to spend three hours there. And, of course, he captured video and took many photos—he is a Hollywood filmmaker, after all.

The extreme pressures took a toll on his equipment, though. Batteries drained, sonar died, and some of his vessel’s thrusters to malfunctioned, making it hard to maneuver.