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James Cameron Takes on World's Largest Sea Trench

Deep seaHollywood director James Cameron is extreme — there's no other word that accurately describes him. In case you needed more proof than his ridiculous Hollywood track record — he was the director of Titanic and Avatar, the two highest grossing films of all time Cameron is now set to break the world record for deepest solo sub pilot dive (a record previously held by none other than James Cameron).

Cameron's attempt is sponsored by National Geographic (in case you didn't know, Cameron is an "explorer-in-residence" at NatGeo) and has been named the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition, which is a totally sweet and action-packed name. In preliminary testing off the coast of Papua New Guinea earlier this week, Cameron set the record for deepest solo mission at 5.1 miles below sea level. In a matter of weeks, he plans on soloing at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, 6.8 miles below sea level.

The entire crew of the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition will be following in the footsteps of the 1960 Trieste two-man expedition, which successfully reached the bottom of the Trench despite a cracked outer window.

In case you were suspecting that Cameron would bring down a 3D camera to capture the whole experience, you would be predictably right. Beyond collecting samples for scientific experiments, Cameron will be creating a feature-length documentary about the experience, probably falling somewhere between his late '80s deep-sea thriller, The Abyss and his more recent documentaries on deep sea diving, Aliens of the Deep and Ghosts of the Abyss (in which Cameron revisited the Titanic wreck).

You can follow the expedition at www.deepseachallenge.com and read a detailed letter in which Cameron subtly brags to Trieste explorer Don Walsh about his latest test dive: "You'd have loved it. . . . JC."

-Justin Cohn

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