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Making history: UP scientist to become the first Filipino to reach the 3rd deepest spot on Earth

By Brooke Villanueva Published Mar 18, 2021 6:24 pm

While the outer space has been creating quite a buzz lately, there are still some deep spots on the planet that are yet to be explored.

One of which is the Emden Deep: the third deepest spot on Earth situated in the Philippine Trench, measuring approximately 10,400 meters or 34,100 feet deep. For the very first time, it will be examined from March 22 to 28 by science experts, including a scientist from the University of the Philippines.

Dr. Deo Florence L. Onda, a microbial oceanographer of the UP Marine Science Institute, is expected to be the first Filipino to look into the site. It would be a “major record-setting scientific and historic achievement,” the MSI said in a statement, relating the aforementioned expedition to first early flights into outer space.

“The Philippine Trench is a unique feature found within the EEZ of the Philippines, and it is only appropriate that a Filipino scientist be one of the first to hold this record in the Emden Deep,” the group added.

Onda will be joined by Victor Vescovo, who currently holds the record for the deepest manned descent in the Marianas Trench in 2019. They will dive the Emden Deep onboard the DSSV Pressure Drop, which is “the only marine vessel in the world capable of launching the deep-sea submersible DSV Limiting Factor that can carry humans and repeatedly dive to the deepest parts in the world’s oceans,” as per the MSI.

“Dr. Onda is now onboard the DSSV Pressure Drop and will start the voyage from the port of Guam to the Philippine Trench,” they shared. “This activity has been fully coordinated with the Philippine Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and is considered a non-Marine Scientific Research (MSR) activity.”

Among their goals is to wave the Philippine Flag in the Emden Deep during the trip. Additionally, Onda will score a great opportunity “to be exposed to state-of-the-art vessels capable of deep-sea activities, which can enrich our experiences and knowledge as the Philippines builds its own National Academic Research Fleet (NARFleet), an ongoing national project funded by the Philippine Government.”

Article thumbnails from Onda's Facebook account