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James Cameron Building New Tech To Study Oceans

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James Cameron turned 56 years young today — and to celebrate, he surprised no one by deciding to dive close to the bottom of the deepest lake in the world.

The director visited Lake Baikal in Russia, the deepest and oldest in the world, and dove some 4,265 feet in a MIR-1 submersible — the same tech he used to film Titanic in the 90s. According to reports, he spent some 3.5 hours on the bottom and retrieved some soil samples for study.

News reports also say that Cameron is “building a submarine in Australia that will take him 36,000 feet underwater.” This is almost double what the MIR class of submersibles is capable of achieving — and would place it in a category all it’s own. It’s also interesting to note that should Cameron be successful with his design, it would be the first privately-owned deep sea submersible. Of the five or so that exist in the world, all are owned by governments.

Cameron also mentioned that he’s working on “developing an upgraded 3-D underwater camera” and has plans for an “underwater feature film that he said he might make before taking on an Avatar sequel.” That film is most likely the cave-dive action drama entitled Sanctum — which tells the true story of an underwater cave collapse that trapped 15 divers.

Either way, with the action in the next Avatar hinted to take place underwater, expect the filming of this epic to take advantage of Cameron’s tinkerings on the side.

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