The Mariana Trench or Marianas Trench is the deepest part of the world's oceans. It is located in the western Pacific Ocean, to the east of the Mariana Islands. The trench is about 2,550 kilometres (1,580 mi) long but has an average width of only 69 kilometres (43 mi). It reaches a maximum-known depth of 10,994 m (± 40 m) or 6.831 mi (36,070 ± 131 ft) at a small slot-shaped valley in its floor known as the Challenger Deep, at its southern end, although some unrepeated measurements place the deepest portion at 11,034 metres (36,201 ft).
Four descents have been achieved. The first was the manned descent by Swiss-designed, Italian-built, United States Navy-owned bathyscaphe Trieste which reached the bottom at 1:06 pm on 23 January 1960, with Don Walsh and Jacques Piccardon board. Iron shot was used for ballast, with gasoline for buoyancy. The onboard systems indicated a depth of 11,521 m (37,799 ft), but this was later revised to 10,916 m (35,814 ft). The depth was estimated from a conversion ofpressure measured and calculations based on the water density from sea surface to seabed.
This was followed by the unmanned ROVs Kaikō in 1996 and Nereus in 2009. The first three expeditions directly measured very similar depths of 10,902 to 10,916 m.
The fourth was made by Canadian film director James Cameron in 2012. On 26 March, he reached the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the submersible vessel Deepsea Challenger.