TO THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN

Read this article from Inside Out and  do the reading comprehension exercises at the bottom. Also, find the answers and some other interesting websites about the topic. Enjoy!

TO THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN

On 25th March this year, film director James Cameron, maker of films such as Titanic and Avatar, visited a place no human being had been to in more than fifty years. In fact, he became only the third person ever to go there; the other two had made the journey together in a submarine called the Trieste in 1960.
The place he went to is the Mariana Trench: the deepest place in any of the world’s oceans. It is almost 11,000 metres below the surface of the western Pacific Ocean, close to the Mariana Islands.
Cameron made the journey in a one-man submarine made of thick steel, the Deepsea Challenger. It took him two and a half hours to reach the ocean floor. Most of the journey was through blackness, as sunlight only travels about 1,000 metres down through the world’s oceans, but the submarine had very strong lights so that Cameron could film the ocean floor and any animals he saw. He plans to make a documentary about his journey.

From the surface of the ocean the distance down to the Mariana Trench is greater than the distance up to the top of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest (8,848 metres). The wreck of the Titanic, which Cameron has also visited in a submarine, is 3,800 metres under the Atlantic Ocean (so far down that it was only discovered in 1985, seventy-three years after the ship sank), but that distance is small in comparison with the depth of the Mariana Trench.

Exercise 1

Answer the questions below.

1. What is James Cameron’s job?

2. What is the Deepsea Challenger?

3. What is the Mariana Trench?

4. What is the Deepsea Challenger made of?

5. Why did the Deepsea Challenger have lots of lights?

6. Where is the Mariana Trench?

7. How many people had been to the Mariana Trench before James Cameron?

8. What happened to the Titanic in 1912?

 

Exercise 2

Decide whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F), or if the text doesn’t say (D).

 

1. There was no other person with James Cameron in the Deepsea Challenger.

 

2. He saw lots of strange animals near the bottom of the ocean.

 

3. Nobody has ever visited the wreck of the Titanic.

 

4. James Cameron visited the wreck of the Titanic in 1985.

 

5. It took him less than two hours to reach the ocean floor in the Deepsea Challenger.

 

6. The Mariana Trench is further below the surface of the ocean than the top of Mount Everest is above it.

 

7. From the surface of the ocean the distance down to the wreck of the Titanic is smaller than the distance up to the top of Mount Everest.

 

8. The Mariana Trench and the wreck of the Titanic are under the same ocean.

 

9. James Cameron’s documentary about his journey to the Mariana Trench will be in cinemas in 2013.

 

10. There is no sunlight in the place where the wreck of the Titanic is.

 

Exercise 3

Do you remember the article? Fill in the gaps to complete the text.

On 25th March this year, film director James Cameron, maker of films such as Titanic and Avatar, visited a place no human (1) b _ _ ng had been to in more than fifty years. In fact, he became only the third person ever to go there; the other two had made the (2) j _ _ _ _ e _ together in a submarine called the Trieste in 1960.
The place he went to is the Mariana Trench: the (3) _ _ _ _ est place in any of the world’s oceans. It is almost 11,000 metres below the (4) _ u _ _ _ _ e of the western Pacific Ocean, close to the Mariana Islands.
Cameron made the journey in a special one-man submarine (5) _ _ _ e of thick steel, the Deepsea Challenger. It took him two and a half hours to reach the ocean floor. Most of the journey was through (6) _ l _ _ _ ness, as sunlight only travels about 1,000 metres down through the world’s oceans, but the submarine had very strong lights so that Cameron could film the ocean floor and any animals he saw. He plans to make a (7) d _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ y about his journey.

From the surface of the ocean the distance down to the Mariana Trench is greater than the distance up to the top of the world’s (8) _ _ _ _ est mountain, Mount Everest (8,848 metres). The (9) w _ e _ k of the Titanic, which Cameron has also visited in a submarine, is 3,800 metres under the (10) A _ _ _ _ _ _ _  Ocean (so far down that it was only discovered in 1985, seventy-three years after the ship sank), but that

(11) _ _ _ _ _ _ ce is small in comparison with the (12) de _ _ h of the Mariana Trench.

 

Answers:

Exercise 1
1. (film) director
2. a submarine
3. the deepest place in any of the world’s oceans
4. steel
5. so Cameron could film the ocean floor and any animals he saw
6. in the Pacific Ocean / close to the Mariana Islands
7. two
8. It sank.
Exercise 2

1. T 2. D 3. F 4. D 5. F 6. T 7. T 8. F 9. D 10. T
Exercise 3
1. being 2. journey 3. deepest 4. surface 5. made 6. blackness 7. documentary 8. highest 9. wreck 10. Atlantic

11. distance 12. depth

 

Do you want to know more? Check these out!

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/03/120325-james-cameron-mariana-trench-challenger-deepest-returns-science-sub/

From National Geographic, which awarded Cameron the title of ‘explorer-in-residence’, an article about Cameron’s descent. Challenging for Pre-intermediate level.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/gallery/2012/mar/26/james-cameron-mariana-trench-solo
A series of photos of Cameron’s dive from The Guardian. Accessible to Pre-intermediate level.
http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/extreme2004/geology/trieste.html
An article with photos about the first journey to the Mariana Trench in 1960, from the University of Delaware (USA) website. Challenging for Pre-intermediate level.

 

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