(Updated on June 11, 2020) A total of 12 men have walked on the Moon, all under NASA’s Apollo program. Given the gargantuan complexity and resource requirements of a space mission, this isn’t really surprising. What may come as a shock, though, is the fact that the number of people who’ve stood on Earth’s satellite is actually thrice the number of people who’ve reached the planet’s deepest point: the Mariana (or Marianas) Trench.
A crescent-shaped sea floor depression that’s over 2,550 km (1,500 mi) long and 69 km (43 mi) wide, the Mariana Trench is located east of the Philippines, about 200 km (124 mi) away from the Mariana Islands. Its deepest point, the Challenger Deep, is about 11 km (7 mi) from the surface of the ocean. If one were to drop Mount Everest into the trench, it would be fully submerged, its peak about 1.6 km (0.99 mi) beneath the surface. Traveling to the Challenger Deep would cover roughly the same distance as climbing Mount Apo, the Philippines’ highest mountain, 3.7 times. Down there, it’s perpetually dark and downright freezing, and the water pressure is said to be at about 8 tons per square inch. Experts say that the weight you’d feel if you were standing at the bottom of the trench would be that of a hundred adult elephants!
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Author: Mikael Angelo Francisco
Bitten by the science writing bug, Mikael has years of writing and editorial experience under his belt. As the editor-in-chief of FlipScience, Mikael has sworn to help make science more fun and interesting for geeky readers and casual audiences alike.