A troubling discovery by scientists in the deepest place on Earth has me wondering about what might lie at the bottom of our region's beloved Lake Chelan.

The submersible, DSSV Pressure Drop, recently plunged where no human can safely go in simple scuba gear to make the alarming find - roughly 6.7 miles under the western Pacific Ocean in a place known as Challenger Deep within the Mariana Trench.

And what pray tell did the Pressure Drop find?

Evidence of an ancient race of alien conquerors?; signs of an impending supervolcanic eruption or magnitude 11 earthquake?; Jimmy Hoffa's body?

No, I'm afraid the answer is even more upsetting than all of those things combined.

What the submersible and its two crew members - Dawn Wright and Victor Voscovo - discovered was a piece of trash! A beer bottle, to be more precise.

The green bottle, which was partially veiled by a thin layer of sand, was recorded by one of the craft's exterior cameras at a staggering depth of 10,900 meters, or approximately 35,761 feet.

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Having quickly ruled out the possibility that the bottle was left behind by a Heineken-drinking kraken or a Lowenbrau-loving goblin shark, and given the nearest mini-mart (Kathy's) is hundreds of miles away and on dry land in Merizo, Guam, and that the town of Bikini Bottom is entirely fictional and probably doesn't sell beer anyway, scientists could only draw the obvious conclusion that it arrived in the Trench by way of a littering human.

Although the bottle might have fallen from an off-course garbage scow or been dropped by a seagull who carried it hundreds of miles out to sea before realizing it wasn't their brand, I picture it being emptied along with a half rack of others by a hoity-toity plutocrat sporting a Loro Piana polo shirt and a pair of Vilebrequin Bermuda shorts while aboard his half-million-dollar catamaran - the S.S. 4U2NV - before being thoughtlessly pitched over the side to make the six-and-a-half-mile plunge to the deepest pore in the skin of Mother Earth.

So now that we know that human-made refuse is making its way to the furthest depths of the planet, I can't help but wonder...

What do the bottom of the world's much shallower bodies of water look like?

By most standards, Lake Chelan is deep...very deep actually! It's by far the deepest body of water in Washington State and the 28th-deepest on Earth at 1,486 feet. But it's still about 25 times shallower than the Pacific Ocean is at Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. And that fact has me thinking that the old song "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall", is probably more like at least 999 which have fallen from the walls of human kind and are now at the nadir of North Central Washington's most popular spot for summer recreation.

With all kidding aside, the human race has reached a tipping point of its own when it comes to the state of the environment, and continues to play a dangerous drinking game with Mother Nature which both of us are rapidly losing more and more with each passing day.

I'm guessing if there had been a message inside that deep-sea bottle they found, it'd be from Mother Earth, and would read "This Bud's for you!...so please keep Her clean."

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