After taking moviegoers down into The Abyss, and to the extraterrestrial worlds of Aliens and Avatar, Canadian director James Cameron took a real-life journey to an alien world in the deepest, darkest reaches of the ocean floor.

Cameron shared with Anna Maria Tremonti, host of The Current, why he worked so hard to journey deep down into the Mariana Trench, the deepest place in the Earth's oceans; the risks and challenges he faced exploring 11 kilometres below the surface of the Pacific Ocean; and what he experienced on his journey to that alien world.

Cameron, currently the explorer in residence at the National Geographic Society, spent seven years working with a team to design and build the Deepsea Challenger, a submarine that could take him deeper than any solo diver had gone before.

In National Geographic magazine's June cover story, Cameron wrote about his journey in the Deepsea Challenger, which made him the first person to complete a solo dive to the Mariana Trench.