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James Cameron's Deep Sea Challenge: Titanic Director Surfaces After Reaching Mariana Trench (VIDEO) (PICTURES)

26/03/2012 08:49 | Updated 26 March 2012

James Cameron has returned to the surface after reaching Earth's deepest place - the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific.

The Hollywood director ventured seven miles below the surface of the ocean in a specially constructed submarine called "Deepsea Challenger", which Cameron has described as "a vertical tornado."

Lights and cameras had been loaded on board the submarine to capture the secret's of one of the Earth's most mysterious places.

Cameron, who directed the blockbuster the Titanic, spent more than three hours filming on the ocean floor, before returning to the surface. He is expected to release a documentary broadcasting the footage at a later date.

Tweeting the historic moment, Cameron wrote that "hitting bottom never felt so good".

However there were some who were sceptical that Twitter would work in the submarine's pod, which was built to withstand 1,000 times the normal atmospheric pressure at sea level.

It took the film director two hours and 36 minutes to reach the bottom. Cameron then released metal weights from the Australian-built submarine to propel the craft to the surface.

Reportedly taking seven years from design to build, there are hopes that the Deepsea Challenger will be used again to uncover what lies beneath.

Doug Bartlett, chief scientist for the Deepsea Challenge, told the National Geographic that the Mariana Trench expedition could "represent a turning point in how we approach ocean science."

"I absolutely think that what you're seeing is the start of a program, not just one grand expedition."

After returning to the surface, Cameron shook hands with US Navy Lt Don Walsh, who completed the same journey to the bottom of the Mariana Trench 52 years ago with Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard.

However the earlier trip in a free-diving submersible (called a bathyscaphe) was less successful, after their landing disturbed silt from the ocean floor, obscuring their view.

Celebrities and science enthusiasts alike have been tweeting their congratulations to Cameron. Jessica alba, who starred in Cameron's sci fi series Dark Angel, referred to Cameron as "her dear friend" saying

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