Hellenic Trench

It's what you can't see


This is hardly an impressive photograph. I snapped it from an upper deck of the Celebrity Reflection. Rising to meet the eye is the roiling wake of this enormous cruise ship.

But somewhere below the Mediterranean foam is the Hellenic Trench. It represents a lively seam in the earth’s crust. The African Plate is slamming against the Hellenic Plate. The seafloor deforms and hundreds of kilometers of seafloor have already disappeared, slipping under the Greek lip. Earthquakes are common throughout the region.

The deepest part of the Hellenic Trench is the Calypso Deep. At 17,280 feet, it is also the deepest point in the Mediterranean Sea. They say the water is toasty way down there at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Biologists recognize this as the only warm-water abyss on the planet. Looking for a Mediterranean grenadier (Coryphaenoides mediterraneusor) or a deep-diving sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus)? This is where you find ‘em gamboling about.

Now look again.


We have several travel experiences planned for 2019 (see list here). These are organized on behalf of educational institutions or church groups. If you are a leader who is interested in crafting a unique travel opportunity for your organization or if you are an individual who would like to join a group, shoot me an email at markziese@gmail.com.