When Victor Vescovo reached a depth of 10,928 meters in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench, he took 15 minutes to look at what surrounded him. He had just reached what is believed to be the deepest point a human has ever gone in the ocean.

He broke the record set by Oscar-winning director James Cameron. It was Cameron who suggested to Vescovo to stop and enjoy the moment.

The deep sea operation, filmed for part of an upcoming Discovery Channel documentary series, took almost 12 hours.

“I was stunned to discover when I did my research that of the five oceans, four had never actually had a visitation to their bottoms,” Vescovo said. “I thought it was about time that someone actually did that.”

Vescovo traveled down in a vehicle called the SDV Limiting Factor, a titanium craft outfitted with high definition cameras.

Patrick Lahey is with Triton Submarines, the company that made the SDV. He said such operations show why more exploration of the oceans is important for science.

“I think it’s important for us human beings to study these areas,” he said, noting how little is known about large parts of the ocean. ”The ocean is the life force of our planet,” he added.

Vescovo said that he believed he found many new species on the dive. He said the scientific group of the operation is excited and happy with what he brought to the surface for more examination. “It’s really great,” he added.

In addition to unusual animals, Vescovo saw something familiar – waste, especially plastic, in the deepest part of the water. Andy Sharpness leads Oceana, an environmental group. He called the discovery of waste materials there, “disturbing but not surprising.”

Exercise 1


Read the following vocabulary with your teacher.

stun – v. to surprise or upset (someone) very much

actually – adv. used to stress that a statement is true especially when it differs in some way from what might have been thought or expected

disturbing – adj. – worrying, upsetting; from the verb disturb - to worry or upset (someone)


Exercise 2 


Answer these questions about the article.

1. What is the name of the explorer who made the deepest ocean dive in history?

2. Who held the record before him?

3. How long did the operation take?


Exercise 3

Fill in the blanks

Fill in the blanks with the correct word listed below.

stun, actually, disturbing

1. I thought the movie was very _____.

2. They were _____ by the news.

3. After all these months, it's hard to believe that we're ____ finished.


Exercise 4


Have a discussion on following questions.

1. What do you think of this operation?

2. Why is it important to study the oceans?

3. Have you ever tried diving? If yes, did you enjoy it? If no, would you like to?


This lesson is based on a news article originally published by VOA.