Ocean trenches are the long yet narrow v-shaped geological depressions on the ocean floor, and as such are the ocean’s deepest part as well as the Earth’s lowest points. There are 16 major oceanic trenches; the top 10 of these are located in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, those found in the latter being the deepest ocean trenches in the world.
In the Arctic Ocean, the Eurasian Basin is the 16th deepest ocean trench in the world; reaching depths of 5,450 meters, 17,881 feet and 3.39 miles. The Indian Ocean’s Java Trench is 15th at 7,455 meters, 24,460 feet and 4.63 miles. The Aleutian Trench in the Pacific Ocean is the 14th deepest at 7,679 meters, 25,194 feet and 4.77 miles. 13th is the Caribbean Sea’s Cayman Trough at 7,686 meters, 25,238 feet and 4.78 miles. The Romanche Trench in the Atlantic Ocean is 12th deepest at 7,760 meters, 25,460 feet and 4.82 miles. And the 11th deepest ocean trench is the Indian Ocean’s Diamantina Trench at 8,047 meters, 26,401 feet and 5.00 miles.
The 10th to 6th places in the world’s deepest ocean trenches alternate between those in the Pacific Ocean and those in the Atlantic. The Peru-Chile Trench in the Pacific Ocean is the 10th deepest ocean trench at 8,065 meters, 26,456 feet and 5.01 miles. 9th deepest is the Atlantic Ocean’s South Sandwich Trench at 8,428 meters, 27,651 feet and 5.24 miles. Back in the Pacific, the Yap Trench is 8th at 8,527 meters, 27,976 feet and 5.30 miles. 7th is the Atlantic’s Puerto Rico Trench at 8,605 meters, 28,232 feet and 5.35 miles. And at 6th place is the Japan Trench in the Pacific at 9,000 meters, 29,527 feet and 5.59 miles.
The top five deepest ocean trenches are all located in the Pacific Ocean. The 5th deepest is the Kermadec Trench at 10,047 meters, 32,963 feet and 6.24 miles. In 4th place is the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench at 10,500 meters, 34,449 feet and 6.52 miles. The Philippine Trench is 3rd at 10,540 meters, 34,580 feet and 6.54 miles. The 2nd deepest is the Tonga Trench at 10,882 meters, 35,702 feet and 6.76 miles. Finally, the deepest ocean trench in the world is the Mariana Trench at 10,911 meters, 35,797 feet and 6.78 miles.
Formed deep in the Earth’s crust, ocean trenches are typically situated in areas of volcanic activity. Practically valleys under the sea, their considerable depth makes them ideal habitation for deep water fish and other exotic oceanic life forms. As a result, the waters above these trenches make for excellent fishing.
As far as deep-sea exploration goes, human beings are incapable of bearing the high pressure and the cold dark depths of the ocean trench. This necessitates the use of specially-designed equipment and submarines, but even these would allow man to explore the trenches for limited periods only. As much information about them as has been gathered, the deepest part of the ocean floor remains inviting yet elusive.