On this list, readers can explore the ten deepest places on Earth. These are primarily ocean trenches that are created due to shifting tectonic plates, like the Pacific plate, as it slips below other plates. They may seem out of reach, dark, and dreary, but in reality, the deepest places in the Earth’s oceans play host to a variety of amazing creatures.
Depth: 11,500 feet
In Antarctica, you’ll find the deepest place on land. The Denman Glacier is an ice-filled canyon that reaches 11,500 feet below sea level. It is by far the deepest place on land and is exceeded only by ocean trenches (like those below). It was only discovered in 2019 due to a new map called BedMachine Antarctica.
The Dead Sea
Depth: 1,355 feet
Location: Jordan River Valley
The deepest exposed point on Earth is well-known as the Dead Sea in the Jordan River Valley. But, this incredible sea pales in comparison to the far deeper oceanic trenches that make up the true deepest places on Earth.
Peru–Chile Trench (Atacama Trench)
Depth: 26,460 (8,065 meters)
Location: Eastern Pacific Ocean
This trench, which is also known as the Atacama Trench, is located off the coast of Peru and Chile. It is around 3,666 miles long and 40 miles wide. It was formed where the Nazca plate is subducted beneath the South American plate. The trench is home to many interesting species, including three species of snailfish that were discovered in 2018.
Puerto Rico Trench
Depth: 26,398 feet (8,046 meters)
Location: Between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean
This trench is the deepest in the Atlantic Ocean. It is nearly 500 miles long and has a maximum depth of 27,480 feet. The deepest point is referred to as the Milwaukee Deep. It was identified in 2018 by multibeam sonar by the DSSV Pressure Drop. Scientists believe that an earthquake in this area could be catastrophic to the surrounding islands, specifically to Puerto Rico. The island has already suffered from previous quakes, such as the 1918 San Fermín earthquake that measured 7.1 on the Mercalli intensity scale.
Depth: 26,398 feet (8,046 meters)
Location: Northern Pacific Ocean
The Japan Trench is located to the east of the Japanese islands. Its volcanic activity makes up the bulk of the “Ring of Fire” in the northern Pacific Ocean. The trench, like most of those on this list, was formed through the subduction of the Pacific plate. This time, underneath the Okhotsk Plate. The plate’s movement is also one of the main causes of earthquakes and tsunamis in the area. Specifically, the 2011 earthquake, sometimes known as the “Great East Japan Earthquake.”
South Sandwich Trench
Depth: 26,909 feet (8,202 meters)
Location: South Atlantic Ocean
Credit: The Discovery of New Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Communities in the Southern Ocean and Implications for Biogeography
The South Sandwich Trench is the deepest trench in the Atlantic Ocean after the Puerto Rico Trench. It is located to the east of the South Sandwich Islands and is considered to be the deepest point in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. Along the trench, the single deepest point is the Meteor Deep. It has a depth of 26,909 feet. The trench is around 600 miles long and was successfully measured in February of 2019.
Depth: 32,087 feet (9,780 meters)
Location: Western Pacific Ocean
The Izu-Ogasawara Trench is also known as the Izu-Bonin Trench. It is located in the western Pacific Ocean and is a combination of two different trenches, the Izo to the north and the Bonin to the south. The trench runs from Japan to the northern sections of the Mariana Trench.
Depth: 32,963 feet (10,047 meters)
Location: South Pacific
The Kermadec Trench is located in the south Pacific and reaches from 26 degrees south to 37 degrees south between the Louisville Seamount Chain to the Hikurangi Plateau in the south. It is the fifth deepest trenEarth Earth and was formed due to the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Indo-Australian Plate. It is continued along the Tonga Trench to the north.
Depth: 34,580 feet (10,540 meters)
Location: East of the Philippines
The Philippine Trench is known as a submarine trench. This means that it is a long and narrow trench that is typically around 30-60 miles wide. They are Earth’s due to Earth’s plate tectonics and mark the boundaries of convergent plates. This specific trench is around 820 miles long and has a maximum width of nineteen miles. Its deepest point is at 34,580 feet. Interestingly, for years scientists believed it was the deepest point on Earth. The trench is believed to be less than 8-9 million years old, formed during the Plio-Pleistocene times. The trench is known for the variety of earthquakes that occur around it.
Kuril- Kamchatka Trench
Depth: 34, 587 feet (10,542 meters)
Location: Northwest Pacific Ocean
This trench is located off the coast of Kamchatka. It was formed due to a subduction zone dating back to the Cretaceous period. As the Pacific plate is subducted under the Okhotsk Plate, the trench is changing. It has also resulted in the creation of volcanoes.
Depth: 35,702 feet (10,882 meters)
Location: South-west Pacific Ocean
The Tonga Trench is the deepest point in the southern hemisphere and the second-deepest point on Earth after the Mariana Trench. It is also a location in which the fastest plate tectonic velocity is occurring on Earth. The Horizon Deep, located at 23.25833°S 174.726667°W, is the deepest part of the trench. It is named for the vessel that found the location in 1952 – the Horizon, funded by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Depth: 36,037 ft (10,984 meters)
Location: Western Pacific Ocean
Credit: Wallace (using NOAA data)
The Mariana Trench is in the western Pacific Ocean, around 200 kilometers, or 124 miles, from the Mariana Islands. It is the true deepest point on Earth. The trench is the deepest point in the worlds’ oceans.
It reaches a length of 1,580 miles and 2,550 kilometers and a maximum width of 69 kilometers or 43 miles. The maximum known depth within the Challenger Deep is 10,984 meters, or 36,037 feet.
The water pressure at the bottom of the trench is incredible, more than 1,071 times the normal atmospheric pressure at sea level. Living in this incredible habitat are some of the world’s most interesting and surprising animals. Read more about the strange animal in the Mariana Trench here.
What is the deepest point on Earth?
The deepest point on Earth is the Challenger Deep, located in the Mariana Trench. It is in the Western Pacific Ocean and is 36,037 ft (10,984 meters) deep.
What are the five deepest parts of the ocean?
The five deepest points on earth are the Mariana Trench, the Tonga Trench, the Philippine Trench, the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench, and the Kermadec Trench.
Is there a place deeper than Mariana Trench?
Yes. The Kola Superdeep Borehole is a hole drilled in the ocean floor, reaching 12,262 meters deep, or 40,320 feet. It is the deepest artificial point on Earth and was completed in May 1970 using a drilling rig. It is only nine inches wide.