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Nereus lost 6 miles under the sea: Debris bubble up after sub implodes

The Nereus, a remotely-operated submarine, imploded under the immense pressure on a 6.2 mile dive beneath the ocean. The unmanned sub, which cost $8 million to build six years ago, was on day 30 of a 40 day exploration of the world’s second deepest ocean trench, according to NewsMax on May 13.

Nereus is lost at sea, it implodes six miles down in the ocean during an exploration of the world's second deepest underwater trench.
Nereus is lost at sea, it implodes six miles down in the ocean during an exploration of the world's second deepest underwater trench.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Despite the demise of the Nereus, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Timothy Shank said that the unmanned sub gave them so much information that they didn’t have before and it sent amazing images to the surface. It gave them an insight into the marine world below during the 30 days in the Kermadec Trench. This trench is second only to the Mariana Trench in depth.

Shortly after the crew lost contact with the Nereus, debris floated to the surface leaving the crew to the obvious conclusion that the sub succumbed to the great amount of pressure over six miles underwater. When on land 15 pounds-per-square-inch is what humans experience from the atmospheric pressure. The sub was lost in the ocean northeast of New Zealand.

Underwater the pressure quickly goes up and it is estimated that the Nereus was experiencing 16,000-pounds-per-square-inch of pressure at over six miles below the ocean’s surface. This is way limitations exist on manned submarines. While the manned submarines are designed today to go deeper than ever before, going six miles down is still reserved for the unmanned subs.

Larry Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s director of research said:

"Extreme exploration of this kind is never without risk, and the unfortunate loss of Nereus only underscores the difficulty of working at such immense depths and pressures." He continued on saying, "Fortunately, there was no human injury as a consequence of this loss."

The Kermadec Trench lies 32,963 below the surface of the ocean, the Mariana Trench is even deeper at 36,201 feet. There is still so much to learn from the deepest depths of the ocean where the water is cold and the pitch black darkness never sees the light. New discoveries of plant life, shellfish and fish are always a possibility since humans have not been able to explore these trenches before because of the depth. Something new and amazing could be around every corner.