FP trendApril 6, 2021 6:42:12 PM IST
Located in the western Pacific Ocean, almost 11,000 meters deep, at the southern end of the Mariana Trench, Challenger Deep is always shrouded in darkness. It is the deepest known point in the Mariana Trench and on Earth and not many imagine going there. In March 2021, Nicole Yamase, a young Micronesian, entered her name in the record books by becoming the third woman, the first Pacific Islander, and the youngest person to visit Challenger Deep. According to a report by The Guardian, the trench falls into the territorial waters of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and its president David Panuelo was a compliment to the young Pacific Islander.
Panuelo said Yamase’s work was “impressive,” adding that it was fitting that a Micronesian had finally visited the bottom of Challenger Deep.
Micronesia is a country in Oceania and is made up of more than 600 islands. It is primarily an independent country with the United States controlling some islands.
Among the personal items Yamase took with him on the mission were a national flag, a traditional Mwaramwar cowrie shell necklace, and a small model of a wooden canoe, a gift from his father that symbolizes his heritage as a boater.
“I couldn’t believe we got to the bottom … I didn’t trust my eyes,” he said. ABC. It was amazing to be there where no one had been before, he added.
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With this mission and the fact that she was only the third woman to accomplish the feat, Yamase hopes that now more women will be inspired and join STEM courses. He is studying his Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii.
“There really aren’t many of us in this field … and it’s really important that subjects get excited about science,” she said, adding that her experience was also a way of breaking gender boundaries and expectations.
Yamase shared that he found Challenger Deep similar to a desert or lunar landscape where “marine snow” – tiny particles of organic material – floats from above.
He added that they noticed debris, pieces of rope, on the seabed.
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