Deep Diver James Cameron Talked Ocean Geekery Way Back at D8

Published on March 26, 2012
by Kara Swisher

Famed Hollywood movie director James Cameron has always been a geek, most especially an ocean geek, so it’s no surprise that he would be the one to dive seven miles down into the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep.

That would be into the Earth’s deepest place, in a tiny, vertical green tube. He’s the first person to do the treacherous dive alone — technically, it is 6.8 miles or 11 kilometers — an exploration he did with National Geographic.

It took about two hours to get down and a little over an hour to come back up. When he got back to the surface, Cameron was first spotted by the helicopter owned by his friend, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen (more power-nerding!), who was also along for the adventure.

While down in the bottom of the sea, Cameron gathered samples and readings, but he also found time to tweet:

The well-known filmmaker has done two big movies related to the ocean — “Titanic” and “The Abyss,” but it is less well known that the lush landscape of “Avatar” got its color and design concepts from the sea.

I know all this and more about Cameron’s watery interests from an interview he did at the eighth D: All Things Digital conference in 2010. In it, he talked a lot about diving, including wanting to use submersibles to make sure the BP oil company was telling the truth about its spill back then.

Here’s the full video interview from D8, which is well worth a watch:

And here is a fantastic animation video National Geographic did of the dive:

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