Roughly 71 percent of the earth’s surface is covered by water, and oceans hold about 96.5 percent of the earth’s water. In the depths of these oceans, are underwater formations bigger than those on land and these include huge holes that are extremely deep and mysterious.
These deep ocean holes also provide habitat to spooky creatures that are resilient enough to survive those depths. Here are the 10 deepest ocean locations in the world.
10/10 Mariana Trench
Located in Western Pacific Ocean the Mariana Trench is the deepest section of the earth’s surface and also has the earth’s deepest point, the Challenger Deep. This crescent-shaped scar on the earth’s crust is 2,550 kilometers long and 69 kilometers wide on average, and at Challenger Deep, it is 10.91 kilometers in depth.
In history, only Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard have ventured the Challenger Deep, and they got to 10,916 meters in a Trieste bathyscaphe vessel in 1960. The first unmanned vessel to venture into the Deep was controlled by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s researchers and reached up to 10,902 meters.
Other exploratory efforts have measured the deepest point of the Mariana Trench as 11.034 kilometers deep. Flatfish, crustaceans, large shrimp-looking amphipods, and an unknown snailfish have been found in the Mariana Trench.
9/10 Tonga Trench
At 10.882 kilometers deep, Tonga Trench is located in the southwest Pacific Ocean at the Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone. Tonga Trench’s deepest point is called the Horizon Deep is considered the earth’s second-deepest point after the Challenger Deep, and is the Southern Hemisphere’s deepest trench.
The Tonga Trench stretches 2,500 kilometers from New Zealand’s North Island northeast to the Island of Tonga.
Tonga Trench was formed due to the subduction (movement of one tectonic plate below the other) of the pacific plate by the Tonga Plate. Roundworms are found at the Horizon Deep.
8/10 Philippine Trench
Also called the Mindanao Trench, the Philippine Trench has the Galathea Depth which at 10.54 kilometers below sea level, is the earth’s third-deepest point. It is located in the Philippine Sea and spreads a length of 1,320 kilometers and 30 kilometers in width to the east of the Philippines.
The Philippine Trench was formed due to a collision between the Eurasian plate and the smaller Philippine Plate. Other trenches in the Philippine Sea include the Manila Trench, East Luzon Trench, Negros Trench, Sulu Trench, and Cotabato Trench.
7/10 Kuril-Kamchatka Trench
Kuril–Kamchatka Trench or the Kuril Trench in the Pacific Ocean has a depth of 10.5 kilometers below sea level and is the world’s fourth-deepest point.
It is close to Kuril Island and is off the coast of Kamchatka. This trench has caused several oceans’ bed volcanic activities in the region.
Kuril Trench was formed because of the subduction zone formed in the late Cretaceous period which also created the Kuril island and the Kamchatka volcanic arcs.
6/10 Kermadec Trench
Kermadec Trench is on the floor of the South Pacific Ocean and stretches about 1000 kilometers between the Louisville Seamount Chain (Louisville Ridge) and the Hikurangi Plateau. It has a maximum depth of 10.04 kilometers and was formed due to the subduction of the Pacific plate under the Indo-Australian Plate.
The Kermadec Trench bottom is a habitat for species like the giant amphipod which is about 34 centimeters long. Due to the high pressure, at a depth of 9,990 km an unmanned research vessel imploded while on an exploratory tour at Kermadec Trench. This is the world’s fifth-deepest point.
5/10 Izu-Ogasawara Trench
Izu-Ogasawara Trench also called the Izu–Bonin Trench in the western Pacific Ocean has a maximum depth of 9.78 kilometers. This trench stretches from Japan to the northern section of the Mariana Trench and is also an extension of the Japan Trench.
Other trenches in the western Pacific Ocean include the Izu and Bonin trenches. This is the world’s sixth-deepest point.
4/10 Japan Trench
Located east of the Japanese islands and part of the Pacific Ring of Fire in the northern Pacific, is the maximum 9 kilometers deep, Japan Trench, and the world’s seventh-deepest point.
This trench stretches from Kuril Islands to the Bonin Islands and is an extension of the Kuril-Kamchatka and the Izu-Ogasawara trenches to the north and south, respectively.
Japan Trench was formed due to the subduction of the oceanic Pacific plate below the continental Okhotsk Plate.
3/10 Puerto Rico Trench
Tucked between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean at the Milwaukee Deep, the 8.64 kilometers deep, Puerto Rico Trench is the deepest point in the region and the eighth-deepest point on earth.
It has a length of over 800 kilometers and has triggered many tsunamis and earthquakes here. There are ongoing efforts to totally map out this trench that commenced in 1964 using a robotic vehicle.
2/10 South Sandwich Trench
After the Puerto Rico Trench, the 8.42 kilometers-deep South Sandwich Trench, is the second-deepest trench in the Atlantic Ocean, and the ninth-deepest in the world. It is located 100 kilometers east of the South Sandwich Islands in the Southern Atlantic Ocean.
Also called the Meteor Deep, it is over 956 kilometers long, which makes it among the most conspicuous trench in the world, and is also linked to an active volcanic arc.
South Sandwich Trench was formed by the subduction of the South American Plate’s southernmost section, beneath the tiny South Sandwich Plate.
1/10 Peru–Chile Trench
Also called the Atacama Trench, the Peru-Chile Trench has a maximum depth of 8.06 kilometers below sea level and its deepest point is called the Richards Deep, making it the tenth-deepest trench, in the world. It is located about 160 kilometers off the coast of Peru and Chile in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
The Peru-Chile trench is 5,900 kilometers long and 64 kilometers wide and covers an estimated 590,000 square kilometers area.