Of Course James Cameron Just Pulled Off Some Historic Deep Sea Exploration

It’s not enough for James Cameron to win Oscars and invent groundbreaking proprietary film technology and to direct literally the highest-grossing movies of all time. No. It isn’t. In his spare time, James Cameron has to make historic deep-sea explorations. Obviously he does.

The video above, filmed last weekend, shows Cameron — who is an official National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence (Jesus Christ, I bet he brings that up in conversation all the time) — in the 24-foot submarine Deepsea Challenger. He piloted that thing, all by himself, 35,756 feet deep down into the Pacific Ocean, into the Mariana Trench. It’s the first time anyone has done so since U.S. Navy Lt. Don Walsh and Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard, in 1960, and the first time anyone has done so solo. As Cameron tells it, it was fucking awesome down there: It looked like the moon and there were mad weird animals with no pigment or eyes. Cameron: “Literally, in the space of one day, I’ve gone to another planet and come back.” Ugh. Also, according to the narrator, he was “filming and documenting what he saw, and taking samples” so his historic trip will probably lead to groundbreaking scientific discoveries. Great. Eventually there’ll be some feature documentary released of his footage from down there, and also probably some fancy research center built in his name and under his largesse. Faaaaantastic. This is James Cameron’s version of celebrity charity work, and it is just as infuriatingly awesome as it is, at least technically, beneficial to society.

But was it really worth the risk, James? What if, God forbid, the Deepsea Challenger had succumbed to the 16,000 tons of pressure per square inch you felt down there? Then Brett Ratner would be directing Avatar 2 right now. Brett Ratner, James. Brett Ratner.

Filed Under: James Cameron, Movies

Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

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