The Tonga trench is the second deepest ocean trench in the world, exceeded only by its northern neighbour, the Kermadec Trench. It stretches from north to south in a linear way and lies entirely within the South Pacific Ocean. Samoa lies at its southernmost point.
This trench is much deeper than the surrounding ocean floor, which categorizes it as a submarine trench. Curious! When it’s about the world’s second-deepest oceanic trench, having a thirst for exploration is a must. And this article will fulfil all your doubts.
After Mariana Trench, the Tonga trench is the world’s second-deepest oceanic trench. This submarine trench lies in the South Pacific Ocean and runs from north to south.
It is located between New Zealand and Tonga. Tonga, an island archipelago, is positioned where the Indo-Australian and Pacific tectonic plates intersect.
Tonga’s geological location is-
Latitude: -22° 56′ 24.59″ S
Longitude: -174° 43′ 35.39″ W
The best thing about this trench is that it lies entirely within the South Pacific Ocean, which makes this area unexplored and fascinating. The average depth of the Tonga trench is 7494 meters, but some parts have deeper depths, like 10,812 m. This trench hosts several wonders, such as mud volcanoes, deep-sea corals, and hydrothermal vents.
The resourcefulness of this trench is amazing, as its deep waters are full of fish and rich in minerals. This oceanic trench is also important for research due to its rich biological activity, making it a great spot for scientists to study the mysteries of the deep sea.
The Tonga trench is the second deepest and most mysterious trench on our planet, reaching a depth of up to 10,882 m (35,797 ft) and a length of around 850 miles (1,375 km). Compared to the Mariana trench (36,201 feet), Tonga s just a little shallower.
Tonga’s depth makes it deeper than Mount Everest is tall! Even though it may not be as famous as its neighbour, the Mariana Trench, that doesn’t make it any less interesting or fascinating.
Scientists estimate that there are still many secrets yet to be discovered buried deep in the depths of this mysterious trench.
However, how long is Tonga Trench? Well, the Tonga trench is about 850 miles (1,375 km) in length and has an average width of 50 miles (80 km).
The trenches are unknown and mysterious, much like our world. Although we have no solid data on what kinds of life are there in the Tonga trench, some research indicates that brown snout, black dragonfish, rattail fish, snailfish, barreleye, and amphipods might inhabit these waters.
Also, deep-sea corals studies have found a dozen mud volcanoes as well as hydrothermal vents.
The Tonga trench is teaming with life and resources. Its waters support some of the most productive fisheries in the South Pacific, including orange roughy, hoki, tuna, and shellfish. Additionally, its depths are rich in minerals like nickel and copper manganese, making it an important seafloor mining site.
There are also roundworms and mussels in the waters, making it a great spot for researchers to study the biological activity of the deep sea. All these wonders show that many more secrets are waiting to be discovered in this mysterious and unexplored place. Who knows what we’ll find!
At the bottom of the Tonga trench, the pressure is around 15000 PSI, equivalent to around one thousand atmospheres. This means that anything at this depth is subjected to an intense amount of pressure which would crush most materials, but luckily the creatures which live here have evolved over time so they can withstand these conditions.
The water pressure at this depth is immense compared to the sea level pressure. The pressure is so great that if a human were to travel down to this depth without special equipment, he or she would be crushed instantaneously.
This intense pressure also explains why the Tonga trench remains so unexplored – it is simply too dangerous for humans to venture into its depths!
Over the centuries, diverse individuals have attempted numerous ways to explore what lies beneath the vast and mysterious depths of our oceans. Among them is adventurer Victor Vescovo, who has gone further than any human has before him, reaching incredible debris in his quest for knowledge.
With special tools created for deep sea exploration, Vescovo descended to depths of 36,000 feet in the Parisian Trench and the Philippine Trench – both located around Japan and South Korea – behind only an ambitious journey he made to the Tonga Trench in 2019.
In this part of the Pacific Ocean floor, located near Australia and New Zealand, Vescovo reached at least 32,500 feet into the depths of the Tonga trench (Horizon Deep)! His feat was nothing short of extraordinary, with no other attempts noted as successful over thousands of years of exploratory effort.
The Tonga trench got its name from the country Tonga due to its location. However, what was most remarkable about it was how deep it actually is.
Tonga’s Horizon Deep, discovered by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in December 1952, got its name from the research vessel “Horizon,” used in the expedition. A large number of roundworms in its sediment makes this depth unique.
A 2016 study found that the number of people in this community is six times higher than at a site on the edge of the trench, about 6,250 m (20,510 ft) from the deep, and the difference in biomass is even bigger.
- World’s second-deepest oceanic trench.
- Maximum depth 10,882 m (35,797 ft)
- Water pressure is above 15000 PSI
- Horizon Deep is the deepest point of the Tonga trench
- The first human to reach the Tonga trench was Victor Vescovo in 2019.
So, now you know the Tonga trench is a mysterious and unexplored part of the Pacific Ocean floor that holds many secrets. Its depths are home to an array of marine creatures, hydrothermal vents, mud volcanoes, and minerals, making it an important site for marine research and exploration.
In addition, its immense pressure makes it dangerous for human exploration – but that hasn’t stopped those with the ambition to delve deeper into its depths as we continue to learn more about this mysterious part of our planet. Who knows what else we might uncover!