Victor Vescovo is an ex-US navy Commander who became the first man to get down all four of the deepest ocean trenches.

Vescovo reached the bottom of the Kermadec Trench in the South Pacific Ocean at the weekend in the submersible DSV Limiting Factor – a two-person submersible built by Florida-based company Triton Submarines. 

The 55-year old explorer achieved his personal goal to dive in the four most remote areas of Earth. 

Following the nine-hour expedition, Vescovo and a small team reached a maximum depth of 32,818 feet (10,003 metres) at the bottom of Kermadec Trench.

Limiting Factor’s cameras captured footage of ‘one of the deepest jellyfish ever seen on film’ and a ‘brilliant gold’ bacterial mat living off the minerals and gases in the rocks, he said.

Vescovo (left) and a small team reached a maximum depth of 32,818 feet (10,003 metres) at the bottom of Kermadec Trench aboard Limiting Factor – a two-person submersible built by Triton Submarines

Vescovo (left) and a small team reached a maximum depth of 32,818 feet (10,003 metres) at the bottom of Kermadec Trench aboard Limiting Factor – a two-person submersible built by Triton Submarines

The Kermadec Trench just off the coast of New Zealand is the world's fourth-deepest trench and also one of the coldest due to inflow from Antarctica

The Kermadec Trench, just offshore of New Zealand, is the 4th-deepest trench on the planet. Also due to Antarctica inflow, it’s the Coldest.


1. Challenger Deep Mariana Trench Pacific Ocean: 35.843 feet (10.925 metres).

2. Horizon Deep, Tonga Trench, Pacific Ocean: 35,488 feet (10,817 metres)

3. Emden Deep. Philippine Trench. Philippine Sea. NW Pacific. 32,956ft (10,045m).

4. Scholl Deep and Kermadec Trench in the Pacific Ocean at 32,818ft (10,003m)

Source: British Geological Survey  

It appears that the jellyfish is a Ctenophora (comb jelly) and can survive at 7 tons of pressure. 

Vescovo, who was asked by Twitter how jellyfish could survive under so much pressure, replied: “They would probably tell the same thing about us. How can humans exist in such a low pressure environment?” Each creature adjusts to its environment. Evolution is an amazing power. 

Footage shows also a darkened seafloor that Limiting Factor lights up. This environment features perpetual darkness, extreme pressures, and extremely cold temperatures.  

‘Until this expedition no one knew what the Kermadec Trench looked like and how deep it was,’ Vescovo has told The Times, speaking from the LF’s mothership, DSSV Pressure Drop. 

‘If you consider the conditions – more than seven tons of pressure per square inch and just about freezing temperatures and salt water – it’s remarkable that there is life in these deep trenches.’

Vescovo now has reached four of the deepest points known on Earth. He’s visited Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench – the deepest point on Earth at 35,843 feet (10,925 metres) – a dozen times.  

In June 2019, he reached the bottom of the Horizon Deep in the Tonga Trench in the Pacific Ocean, at 35,488 feet (10,817 metres). 

Vescovo was joined by Deo Florence Onda, a Filipino oceanographer, to make the first descent into the Philippine Trench’s Emden Deep. This is the third-deepest point in Earth at 32,956 feet, or 10,045 meters. It took place in March of this year.

Victor Vescovo (pictured) is an American former intelligence officer turned millionaire financier of exploration missions

Victor Vescovo (pictured), an American intelligence officer and millionaire investor in exploration missions, is Victor Vescovo. 

Scholl Deep in the Kermadec Trench, Pacific Ocean is known to by 32,818 feet (10,003 metres)

Scholl Deep, Kermadec Trench: Pacific Ocean, 32,818ft (10,003m) 

Some sources put Kuril-Kamchatka Trench in the northwest Pacific as the fourth-deepest point on Earth and Kermadec Trench as the fifth-deepest.

However, Dr Heather Stewart, a marine geoscientist at the British Geological Survey, told MailOnline that a German team of surveyors failed to find any depths at Kuril-Kamchatka over 31167 feet (9,500 metres). 

“The Germans were there to survey the Kermadec Trench using their deep-water multibeam. Their findings, published in 2016, showed that no depths of more than 9.500m had been found. 

Vescovo has now reached the four deepest known points on Earth. He's visited Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench – the deepest point on Earth at 35,843 feet (10,925 metres) – a dozen times

Vescovo now has reached four of the deepest points known on Earth. He’s visited Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench – the deepest point on Earth at 35,843 feet (10,925 metres) – a dozen times

The bottom of Kermadec Trench (pictured) has a 'rather chaotic geology and marine life', Vescovo said

Vescovo stated that the bottom of Kermadec Trench has “rather chaotic geology” and “marine life”.


Victor Vescovo, who led the Five Deeps Expedition (FDE), has provided data that confirmed the depths of five oceans.  

The Indian Ocean is 7,187 metres deep, in the Java Trench off Indonesian coast. Data also shows that the South Sandwich Trench has 7,432 metres as the Southern Ocean’s deepest point. 

Prior to FDE, the deepest parts of some oceans were relatively well known, such as lowest point on Earth – the Challenger Deep, inside the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. 

At a whopping 10,924 metre (6.8-miles), the Challenger Deep still holds the record for the deepest point on Earth, the expeditions confirmed. 

Read more: Deepest points of the world’s oceans revealed 

Vescovo funded the construction and design of Limiting Factor. This submersible is capable of diving up to the highest ocean depths. 

This privately-funded exploration vehicle is specifically designed for exploring the hadal area of deep ocean. It can be found at depths up to 36,000ft in depressions. 

Only microorganisms that are specially trained can survive in such extreme depths. Water pressure at the deepest points on Earth is so intense that it would dissolve the bones of land-based animals, according to Vescovo.

Vescovo explained that Kermadec Trench’s bottom is characterized by a “rather chaotic geology” and marine life. 

According to him, “When people consider life on other planets they might think that it will look similar humans or animals we know,” he said to the Times. 

‘What’s more likely because of the extreme conditions on other planets is that it will look more like what we find in the deep ocean on Earth – animals more adapted to the extreme environment,’ Vescovo said.  

The nine-hour expedition was ‘not all fun and smooth sailing, however – Vescovo faced ‘pretty rough weather’, days of poor sleep and a heavily rocking Pressure Drop en route to the Kermadec Trench. 

Vescovo is known for leading the Five Deeps Expedition (FDE), a successful mission to travel to the deepest point in each of the world’s five major oceans – Atlantic, Southern, Indian, Pacific and Arctic – over the course of 10 months from 2018 to 2019.  

American ex-intelligence officer and financier turned millionaire, who served aboard Limiting Factor on all five missions.  

Triton DSV Limiting Factor can dive to depths of 36,000 feet and fits two passengers plus a pilot

Triton DSV Limiting Factor allows you to dive up to 36,000ft and accommodates two passengers, plus one pilot.

The hadal zone of the ocean - named after Hades, the ancient Greek god of the dead - exists around 20,000 to 36,000 feet below the ocean surface

At 20,000 to 36,000 feet under the ocean’s surface, lies the hadal area of the ocean. This zone is named after Hades (an ancient Greek god of death).

Victor Vescovo, who was part of the Expedition to Challenger Deep, became the fourth man in history to do so on May 2019.  

Vescovo did five dives in Mariana Trench during seven days. 

As well as three new species of marine life, and the deepest piece of recovered mantle rock, Vescovo and his team found a plastic bag and a candy wrapper – a stark reminder of the scale of plastic pollution.  


Plastic pollution is an epidemic that has decimated the earth’s surface. The polluting plastic is now sinking to the bottom. 

The deepest part of the ocean is found in the Mariana Trench, located in the western Pacific Ocean, to the east of the Mariana Islands. The ocean floor is nearly 36,000 feet (111,000 metres) beneath the surface.

The deepest human-made pollutant in the world was discovered 35,754ft (10,898 meters) beneath the surface of the region. This plastic single-use bag reached a depth of 33 Eiffel towers if it was laid top to bottom.

Plastic pollution is sinking rapidly, but it is spreading deeper into the middle of oceans. The nearest coast was 620 miles away, which is more than half the distance of France.

In March 2017, the Global Oceanographic Data Center (Godac), a Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, was made available to all. 

In this database, there is the data from 5,010 different dives. 3 425 man-made items from diving were compiled. 

More than 33 per cent of the debris was macro-plastic followed by metal (26 per cent), rubber (1.8 per cent), fishing gear (1.7 per cent), glass (1.4 per cent), cloth/paper/lumber (1.3 per cent), and ‘other’ anthropogenic items (35 per cent).

A further discovery was that 89% of waste found was made for one purpose. This is defined as plastic bags, bottles and packages. Plastic is found in greater quantities if the research goes deeper. 

Of all man-made items found deeper than 20,000 feet (6,000 metres), the ratios increased to 52 per cent for macro-plastic and 92 per cent for single-use plastic.

It is evident that the plastic waste caused direct harm to the environment. Deep-sea organisms could be seen in 17% of the images.