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Student Contributions

Katie James
Upper Sixth
Worcester House

‘A Journey into the Abyss’

‘A Journey into the Abyss’

Sixth Form Lecture: 4 February 2011

This week the Sixth Form were in for a treat, as the Friday afternoon lecture was given to us by Simon Nash an award winning film producer, who has worked on programmes for the BBC including Elephant Diaries and Planet Earth Diaries. The lecture was entitled ‘A Journey in the Abyss’ and in the Redgrave Theatre we were taken on a journey 2500 meters underwater to learn about life in the dark depths on the ocean. Simon Nash’s speech was accompanied by short clips of some of his work, and in particular we followed a trip he took with Alistair Fothergill and a Russian expert diver 2500 meters beneath sea level.

It was fascinating to learn that the deepest part of our ocean in the Mariana Trench is 11,000m deep and that probably only 1% of the entire ocean has been explored. The images of the unique deep sea life that survive without sunlight and in extremely high pressures under water were incredible, and highlighted the vast scale of the untouched ocean depths.

Simon Nash also told us how dangerous it can be diving to such depths. A total of about 500 people have travelled into space to date, whereas far fewer have ever been to depths beyond 5000 metres under sea level. It was interesting to learn how expeditions underwater to film such sea life take place, and to then see the brilliant results on screen in front of us. The three men on their journey deep into the sea, travelled in a submarine type vehicle which took two hours to go each way, and was very small in size! It has the same air pressure as on land, but no toilet facilities and had a very high fire risk. The conditions which they filmed under were tough, but the footage they got definitely seemed to make it worthwhile.

It was a fascinating lecture which made us all realise how much of the Earth we know very little about. The lecture finally highlighted how much plastics are spoiling our seas, and how pollution is affecting our oceans at a very fast rate. It was an insightful talk which everyone thoroughly enjoyed, and the final video of an extract from ‘Planet Earth’ with Sir David Attenborough featuring Simon Nash’s work was the perfect conclusion.

10 February 2011

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