China will work with foreign universities to research life in the deepest depths of the sea, with the help of a manned submersible the country is developing to dive up to 11,000 meters under water.
The Rainbowfish Hadal Life Science Research Center opened in Shanghai on Tuesday.
It has signed agreements to establish a lab with Britain’s University of Aberdeen and another with Hawaii Pacific University in the U.S.
China began developing Rainbow Fish in 2014. It will be able to go much deeper than the Jiaolong submersible, which set a Chinese manned diving record when it reached 7,062 meters in the Mariana Trench in June 2012.
With a combined area larger than the United States, the world’s 26 hadal trenches are home to many unknown species and bountiful energy and metal resources. Yet explorations at these depths have been held back by many difficulties including high pressures and low temperature.