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It was with great excitement that we came upon the Marianas Trench, the deepest part of the ocean touched by only a handful of people, most recently James Cameron. There were three of us to go down, marine biologists Dr. Nigel Harris, Dr. Annie Aldridge, along with myself, who would be operating the submarine. Our crew carefully lowered the sub into the water, and we climbed in.
Slowly our submarine began its descent. I could see the waves rising above the large front window as the lower portions became obscured by a glowing blue which increased in darkness as we descended further. There were massive schools of fish everywhere. Annie was quickly excited by a brief glimpse of a large humpback whale in the distance, and a number of dolphins that curiously approached, but left once we got too deep.
The shades of blue grew darker as we descended into the abyss and the light began to fade. The abundance of wildlife decreased dramatically until finally we were alone. We descended further into the depths of the ocean, and it was at this point the tension began. There were some understandable concerns regarding the depth we planned to travel at. Our submarine had been designed to withstand an extraordinary amount of pressure but if anything were to go wrong it could cost us our lives.
Finally, the blue changed into something closer to black. In the lights of our submarine we were occasionally able to catch a few glimpses of some of the more bizarre creatures that existed down here; once we saw a sperm whale near the entrance, and once we caught a glimpse of some enormous tentacles, something we believed to be a squid, but against Nigel’s advice I refused to get close to it.
Finally, within the faint light of our submarine we could see rocks, solid ground. We had successfully reached the bottom of this monstrous realm, a world the likes of which a writer like H.P. Lovecraft could have only dreamed. We were overwhelmed by the sheer excitement of travelling further beneath the surface of the Earth than anyone before us, and it was only about to get better.
There were three diving suits, specially designed for the pressure. I helped Annie and Nigel to apply them before they left through the airlock, tied to ropes so as to avoid getting lost in the darkness. I remember hearing them over the radio, as they talked of strange things. They reported finding and photographing a few specimens such as anglerfish, monkfish, but then they found it, the ultimate horror I dare not name.
"I’ve sighted a series of large tentacles,” Nigel said excitedly over the radio. “It’s strange, they don’t seem to resemble anything I’d expect to find on a squid."
“Careful,” I said as he approached. I could faintly see the lights on their suits in the cockpit, though I was unable to see the thing itself, and then suddenly one of them went out, and the radio went dead. I waited in fear before I heard a banging on the airlock door, I depressurized it and opened it. Annie stumbled inside, collapsing into a heap on the floor. I removed her helmet and found her to be crying uncontrollably.
“Where’s Nigel?” I asked, but she wouldn’t answer.
Something out there had scared her, something horrible. I donned a suit of my own and stepped outside, pulling at Nigel’s rope to find that it had been abruptly cut. I then drove the submarine in the direction I had seen him walking, and to my horror I found his suit lying on the ground, a small bit of rope tied to him. I then stepped outside to recover the body, and slowly brought it back into the submarine, just as I stepped into the airlock, I could faintly make out what looked to be a large set of tentacles.
Nigel was alive, but just barely; and to be suffering the injuries he did at such a depth he likely will never be diving again, but even if it hadn’t what had attacked him wouldn’t make anyone want to dive at such a depth. It had frightened poor Annie, who still lay crouched in the back corner, unable to stop crying. I took the submarine up, with Nigel barely conscious and Annie in her traumatized state I figured there was no point and staying at this depth any longer.
We began to move upward, but then I saw it, my light shined on the very creature that had frightened poor Annie, who could only scream in terror as it came into view of the front porthole. It was an enormous monster, looking like something that would have been conceived by Lovecraft or Stephen King. The tentacles were attached to a large bulk of a body, the backside which, fortunately, we were facing sported a large sail-like fin, and two large arms held a large carcass, something which it devoured with its sharp teeth. I turned off the lights then and there, hoping it would not see us, as well as to put poor Annie at ease.
Finally, the light began to return, the sea changed from black to a dark shade of blue, which grew lighter as we surfaced. We saw large schools of fish once more swimming by the portholes, while dolphins playfully swam around. The sunlight was a most beautiful sight as we finally broke the surface, emerging above the waves and at the boat.
We were pulled aboard and put into decompression. Poor Annie tried to fight it, and had to be sedated for the process to be completed. The crew did the best they could to help Nigel with the medical supplies available. Unfortunately the damage was too great, and he won’t be able to dive again, not that he’s overly keen on it. Annie started to calm down, but we still made sure to keep an eye on her at all times.
As for me, I still shudder to think of that monster I glimpsed at on the bottom of the ocean. To think that a thing of such size has eluded scientists is unbelievable. After some intensive therapy Annie worked up the nerve to tell some of her colleagues, many of whom remained uncertain due to her mental state, leaving me as the only sane witness. Some speculated that maybe it was this creature that was responsible for “The Bloop” back in 1997, but that was recorded on the other side of the world. In order for such a creature to exist there has to be more than one, and they may be all over the oceans.