Titanic director James Cameron successfully completed a trip to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, setting a world record for the deepest ocean dive by a single person. Cameron spent three hours at the "Challenger Deep" on Monday morning — after taking two-and-a-half hours to descend the 35,756 feet down to the deepest part of the world's oceans — collecting samples of soil and some deep sea creatures while filming the entire adventure with 3-D cameras. (The images will be used in a future movie, of course.)
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Cameron, who planned and executed the journey with the help of National Geographic and billionaire friend Paul Allen, spent more than six hours unable to stretch his arms and legs inside the cramped submersible that was designed and built specifically for the trip. The director responsible for both The Abyss and Titanic has taken submarines to the bottom of the ocean floor before (including the visits to actual Titanic), but this is the first time anyone has gone this far below the surface since two Navy divers spent 20 minutes in the Trench in 1960 ... and couldn't see anything anyway. Cameron plans to re-use the Deepsea Challenge vehicle for more expeditions in the future, but has to be in London on Wednesday for the premiere of the 3-D re-release of Titanic.