On this list, readers can explore the ten deepest places on Earth. These trenches occur 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.

Peru–Chile Trench (Atacama Trench)

Depth: 26,460 (8,065 meters)

Location: Eastern Pacific Ocean

Map of the Peru-Chile Trench
Map of the Peru-Chile Trench

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

Puerto Rico Trench Map
Puerto Rico Trench map

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. 

Japan Trench

Depth: 26,398 feet (8,046 meters)

Location: Northern Pacific Ocean

Map of Japan Trench

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

Map of Sandwich Tectonic Plate
Map of Sandwich Tectonic Plate


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. 

Izu-Ogasawara Trench

Depth: 32,087 feet (9,780 meters)

Location: Western Pacific Ocean

Izu-Ogasawara Trench map
Izu-Ogasawara Trench map

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. 

Kermadec Trench

Depth: 32,963 feet (10,047 meters)

Location: South Pacific 

Map Kermadec Trench (south of Tonga Trench)
Map Kermadec Trench (south of Tonga Trench)

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.  

Philippine Trench

Depth: 34,580 feet (10,540 meters)

Location: East of the Philippines

Philippine Sea Trench Map
Philippine Sea Trench map

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 

Map of Earthquakes around the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench
Map of Earthquakes around the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench

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. 

Tonga Trench 

Depth: 35,702 feet (10,882 meters)

Location: South-west Pacific Ocean 

Map of the Tonga Trench
Map of the Tonga Trench

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. 

Mariana Trench 

Depth: 36,037 ft (10,984 meters)

Location: Western Pacific Ocean

Mariana Trench Map
Mariana Trench Map

Credit: Wallace (using NOAA data)

The Mariana Trench is in the western Pacific Ocean, around 200 kilometers, or 124 miles, from the Mariana Islands. 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.

Trieste - the first manned vehicle to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench
Trieste – the first manned vehicle to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench

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.

FAQs 

What is the deepest point on earth? 

Eartheepest point on Earth isEarthChallenger 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.