OCTOGENARIAN SCIENTIST’S DEEP DIVE Wang Pinxian,
Well-known geologist 82, was on board China’s domestically produced submersible Deep Sea Warrior on its first voyage in the South China Sea from May 11 to 23, making him the vehicle’s oldest passenger. During the voyage, Wang dove to a depth of over 1,400 meters three times and conducted more than eight hours of underwater research each time. On his dives, Wang found a cold seep biogroup consisting mainly of feather duster worms and sea mussels and discovered a special biogroup of cold water coral and sponges.
Wang has been conducting research on marine micropaleontology for decades and has made creative contributions to the development of marine geology in China. He is a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a professor at the School of Ocean and Earth Science of Tongji University in Shanghai.
The Deep Sea Warrior voyage was a finishing touch on a research mission on the history of the South China Sea launched in 2011, which is expected to shed light on the formation and evolvement of the sea.