Sweet wrappers and a plastic bag – seven miles under the sea

A team's excitement at discovering new species while setting a record for the deepest ocean dive turned to horror as they also found plastic waste.

Explorer Victor Vescovo’s sub descended almost 6.8 miles in the Mariana Trench – the deepest part of the Pacific.

He spent four hours exploring the bed and the project team think his finds include four new species of prawn-like amphipods.

But he also found a plastic bag and sweet wrappers.

Scientists will now test the creatures that were collected to see if they contain microplastics.

Dallas businessman Mr Vescovo made the dive in the sub, called Limiting Factor, for the Five Deeps project. The 53-year-old said: “It is almost indescribable how excited we are about achieving what we did.

“This submarine and its mother ship, along with its talented team, took marine technology to a ridiculously higher level.”

The first dive to the bottom of the Mariana was in 1960, by Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard.

James Cameron, director of The Abyss and Titanic, set the previous depth record on a 2012 dive in Deepsea Challenger – just 66ft short of Mr Vescovo.

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