Hollywood icon James Cameron has made it to Earth's deepest point.
The director of "Titanic," ''Avatar" and other films used a specially designed submarine to dive nearly seven miles, completing his journey a little before 8 a.m. Monday local time, according to Stephanie Montgomery of the National Geographic Society.
He plans to spend about six hours exploring and filming the Mariana Trench, about 200 miles southwest of the Pacific island of Guam.
"All systems OK," were Cameron's first words upon reaching the bottom, according to a statement. His arrival at a depth of 35,756 feet came early Sunday evening on the U.S. East Coast, after a descent that took more than two hours.
The scale of the trench is hard to grasp — it's 120 times larger than the Grand Canyon and more than a mile deeper than Mount Everest is tall.
Cameron made the dive aboard his 12-ton, lime-green sub called "Deepsea Challenger." He planned to collect samples for biologists and geologists to study.
"It's really the first time that human eyes have had an opportunity to gaze upon what is a very alien landscape," said Terry Garcia, the National Geographic Society's executive VP for mission programs, via phone from Pitlochry, Scotland.
James Cameron Completes Record-Breaking Mariana Trench Dive
Richard Branson jokes he is headed to the 'centre of the Earth' after James Cameron beat him to deepest point on planet
Richard Branson teased about his less-than-serious plans on his website: 'I have long held a fascination with volcanoes having read Jules Verne's "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" as a young boy.' He went on to say: 'Volcanoes are the next great unexplored terrain. What can I say, I lava challenge!'
A Journey to the Center of the Earth