Guest Blog By Lydia Ball – When the U. S. Navy sent the Trieste deep boat to the Mariana trench in 1960, it was the first time that humans had reached the deepest part of the ocean. The ocean floor was covered with silicon-based algaes, known as diatoms, and Jacques Piccard, a crew member, described it as “snuff-colored”. Since then, technological advances have allowed for further exploration with more scientific rigor. In 2012, James Cameron made the second manned dive to the depths of the Mariana Trench. A flat, desolate landscape, seeming sparsely populated except for small shrimp-like creatures swimming before him as he collected geological and biological data.