Located in the Mariana Archipelago east of the Philippines, the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument protects approximately 95,216 square miles of submerged lands and waters. The Mariana Trench is the deepest place on Earth, deeper than the height of Mount Everest above sea level. It is five times longer than the Grand Canyon and includes some 50,532,102 acres that are virtually unknown to humans. The Volcanic Unit – an arc of undersea mud volcanoes and thermal vents – supports unusual life forms in some of the harshest conditions imaginable. Here species survive in the midst of hydrothermal vents that produce highly acidic and boiling water. In the Islands Unit, unique reef habitats support marine biological communities dependent on basalt rock foundations, unlike those throughout the remainder of the Pacific.

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