An unmanned Japanese ocean probe has reached the deepest place on Earth, an area of the Mariana Trench known as the Challenger Deep.
The probe, called Kaiko, touched bottom at a depth of 36,008 feet, or 6.8 miles. The area is in the Pacific Ocean near Guam.
Probe operators manipulated a mechanical arm Friday to place a plaque on the ocean floor with “Kaiko” and the date written on it. Cameras on board the probe caught images of small fish swimming about.
The probe was developed by Japan’s Science and Technology Agency.
The record for depth achieved by a manmade probe was measured at 35,810 feet in 1960 by a manned U.S. Navy submarine, the Trieste 1.
However, due to advances in depth-measuring techniques, an international conference determined in 1993 that the deepest point in the Earth’s oceans was actually 25 miles away in the Challenger Deep.