If you're rich enough to have your own special submersible built...
May 13, 2020 3:47 PM   Subscribe

Once you become one of the approximately 275 people have done the Seven Summit challenge, climbing the tallest peaks on seven continents, what's next? How about becoming the first person to reach the deepest depths of all the five oceans? [SLNewYorker]
posted by ShooBoo (19 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
This seems like an entirely awesome way to spend one's fortune. Good on him, and I'm pleased that his money is funding some actual research and mapping along the way.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:05 PM on May 13 [3 favorites]


Relevant: The Deep Sea.
posted by adamvasco at 4:52 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


The subject of the article was cool. But when i read this the other day i was disappointed with the article itself. It has a hook near the start of the guy going down and then having a malfunction of some sort and having to go it alone. But the article never got back to that incident. Left me hanging!
posted by Fukiyama at 5:05 PM on May 13 [6 favorites]


I'm totally delighted by the mention of the tuna sandwich that Vescovo brought on his Tonga dive. I hope the first human being to, say, leave the solar system, does not do so as part of alien lunch.

Semi-relatedly, the article apparently undersells how big a fan Vescovo is of Iain M. Banks. Every vessel involved has a Culture-style name, down to the supply boat. The best part, though, is that the landers are named Flere, Skaff, and Closp.
posted by ZaphodB at 5:32 PM on May 13 [5 favorites]


Despite a kneejerk "whitey's on the moon" reaction on my part, this seemed to be a really awesome way to spend too much money. So much mapping and science done in a few weeks!
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 5:34 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


That ugly but well-kept secret about the very well-kept is that they are bored AF! Bored in a way would cost you millions in shopping to experience.
The dopamine reward circuits that fire when after "saving up" to get something you sought to get-- that neurological event is way harder to get when you can and already have gotten everything.
So this.
posted by Fupped Duck at 6:09 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


The Limiting Factor features multiple, fully redundant methods of returning to the surface. The primary methods do not require any electrical power, while others do. This provides for emergency ascent conditions in every possible submarine power state. It should be noted that the sub has twelve separate batteries and in the case of no electrical power availability, the main ballast weights are designed to release for immediate emergency ascent.

Huge dopamine rush working though a several hundred page technical document certifying safety procedures!

For all the utterly tasteless private planes rushing from LA brunch to dinner in Aspen, this seems like a well thought out project that might have a useful post-rush scientific use.
posted by sammyo at 6:15 PM on May 13


Hilariously, the reaction to this story on Hacker News included a bunch of butthurt about how science articles are ruined by Imperial units, which probably tells you all you need to know about hn.
posted by uberchet at 7:09 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


I wonder how you assimilate the light as non-existent air feeling on top of a mountain with the thought of being under the crushing weight of frillions of tons of water doing its best to crush you into a thin layer a single molecule thick.

Luckily, I don't have the amount of money required to find out, so now I can sleep tonight.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 7:20 PM on May 13


I'm hardly gonna object to stuff named after Culture ships but what the hell is it with stupid-rich dinguses and doing that? You are Azad, me bucko.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:55 PM on May 13 [6 favorites]


So SO long, but fascinating!
posted by esoteric things at 9:57 PM on May 13


Good on him, IDK how he made his serious money, but at least he's doing something useful with it, and no one can say it's comfortable or even safe. He's a cut (way) above the usual billionaires too.
posted by unearthed at 10:00 PM on May 13


At one end of the spectrum, you've got guys like this, spending their own fortune genuinely crossing uncrossed frontiers and benefiting science and humanity as an afterthought. The awesomeness of this is dimmed, not to their fault, by the fact that what they open up inevitably becomes the tourist destination of 80 year old millionaires trying to beat each to the summit of Everest, which now kills more people than ever because it's so crowded.

idk. Humanity seems destined to crown awesomeness with crass, assholish me-too-ism.
posted by fatbird at 11:07 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


Also, I feel like this bit for the engineer doing the official marine classification:

Struwe — who was now one of only six people who had been to the bottom of the Challenger Deep—certified the Limiting Factor’s “maximum permissible diving depth” as “unlimited.”

has got to be some kind of peak life experience, nevermind career experience. I assume "unlimited" is just not a word you ever if your life expect to type in that field on that form.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:15 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]


Fascinating... i'm happy staying above water though! :-D
posted by 2xmeow at 5:34 AM on May 14


There was an article on this guy in Outside a couple months ago. What a great way to spend your millions (- so much better than putting your name on shit and punching down)!
posted by notsnot at 6:00 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]


Eyos Expeditions were the organizers and write a bit more about it all as does Oceanographic magazine
posted by adamvasco at 6:22 AM on May 14


I was excited to have found a spelling error in the New Yorker, but no, they've got their own spelling of vendor that they have in their style guide.
posted by atrazine at 7:20 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]


This is probably just class resentment, but this whole project makes me want to spoil this guy's fun by pointing out that he didn't get to the deepest part, because he was the thickness of his sub's wall above it.
posted by msalt at 12:11 PM on May 16


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