It’s only been a couple of days since director James Cameron made his historic solo dive to the deepest point in all the world’s oceans, Challenger Deep, but footage of what the filmmaker saw while he was down in the abyss is already being released. You didn’t think the man behind Titanic and Avatar wouldn’t bring a camera with him, did you?
The video from National Geographic, which partnered with Cameron on the expedition, provides a few fleeting views of the barren alien landscape Cameron explored during the three hours he spent nearly seven miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. It also provides a claustrophobia-inducing look at the 6-foot-2 director crammed into his 24-foot torpedo-shaped sub, dubbed Deepsea Challenger, in which he had to remain nearly motionless for the duration of the voyage (he apparently did lots of yoga to prepare). Check out the video below:
Just days before making the dive, Cameron told EW there was precious little room for him to maneuver inside the vessel (and that’s before 16,000 tons of pressure per square inch bearing down on the capsule pushed the windows in a few inches during the dive). “It’s definitely cozy inside,” Cameron told EW. “Once you’re inside in the pilot position with your hands on the controls and all the cold survival gear and all that stuff, there’s not that much room to move. You’re kind of jammed in.”
In addition to scientific research equipment, Cameron’s sub was equipped with 3-D cameras, and the director plans to use the footage he shot for a National Geographic special on the expedition and a potential big-screen 3-D documentary. It’s frankly hard to see much beyond cold, dark desolation in the video that’s been released so far — if Cameron captured any particularly mind-boggling deep-sea creatures on film down there, he’s keeping them to himself for now. But what do you think? Do these glimpses of what lies beneath make you want to see more?