History-making explorer Richard Garriott described his extraordinary dive to the remotest place on the planet – and then taking a selfie while down there.
Gently landing on the foot of the Mariana Trench, Garriott took the world’s deepest selfie.
Shockingly he found trash left by a previous Chinese expedition and took video of tiny translucent creatures scuttling on the ocean floor.
British-born Garriott became the only man in the world to have flown into space, reached both the North and South Poles and visit to the bottom of the Earth.
He said: “It was a descent into darkness in the truest sense.
“And even though it’s a four hour journey to the bottom, you are going down fast.
“When we got to the bottom I saw his monstrously long cable which is now littering the seafloor. That was very sad.
“On the way back up I saw a siphonophore – a multi-segmented large lifeform.
“When I first saw it out of the window it really looked like a large squid.
“I was a very exciting dive and I feel very privileged to have been at the bottom of the Earth.”
To put it into context he was almost seven miles underwater – if you moved Mount Everest onto the sea floor there would still be another 1.5 miles to reach the surface.
Many of their schools followed his 36,000 foot dive in a British designed submersible in the Pacific Ocean.
He is hoping to inspire the children to save the planet and become the next generation of explorers.
He took photos of the deepest rocks on earth sitting on the Pacific plate and he made a short sci-fi film down there – he did the same when he was an astronaut on the International Space Station in 2008.
He also took samples back to the surface which will be analysed and could contain species not yet known to mankind.
On the bottom of the ocean he said: “On the video I took you can see these nice little four or five inch long translucent black worms.
“They’re there all over the floor down there.
“And you can also see tracks of larger, things that are out there.”
And incredibly he did the whole 12 hour trip without going to the toilet.
He laughed: “I know the kids would be interested in that!
“There is a personal bathroom on these devices – on the Mir submersibles it’s big enough to hang a curtain for a little bit of privacy.
“But on a spacecraft that’s not possible – you’re in a space suit.
“The night before your flight the doctor comes to you and hands you a adult nappy and says wear it and plan to use it!
“On this trip I was prepared to take care of myself in my own seat but the night before dinner I had no beverages.
“In the morning I had no beverages so I luckily I did not need the loo – my first 12 hour expedition when I didn’t.”
After his debrief it was time to celebrate becoming the 14th person to officially descend.
“We met on the Sky deck – we call it the Sky bar and there was a cooler full of beers and I had earlier left a bottle of vodka on ice which was lovely.
“It was a fantastic end to an incredible day.”