The Abyss

Question: Lindsay just had her first encounter with an alien. She and Bud are discussing what happened in the submarine to Jammer. In the background there is a window with an upside down plush toy what looks like a cat clawing to get out of the rig by way of the window. Is this a reference to something that might have been cut from the movie?

Chosen answer: No, it's only meant to show the crew's sense of humor.

raywest

Question: Bud and Catfish decide to go outside of the rig, swimming out the bottom of one of the hatches. Also, when Bud and Lindsey are in the wrecked submersible they decide Bud will swim with the drowned body of Lindsey back to the rig. How could these three have made it by entering the outside pressure of the Abyss at 1 or 2 miles below sea level without wearing a dry suit like Bud wears while saving Lindsey? They all would have been crushed the instant they left the habitat or submersible.

Chosen answer: At the depth you're asking about, the water pressure is not enough to crush a diver's unprotected body (which is mostly solid/liquid and thus relatively hard to compress). The only thing they have to worry about is their lungs (gases, and therefore things containing gases, are much easier to compress). This worry is addressed by the pressure and composition of the air that they breathe on the rig, in their submersibles, and in their air tanks - this air has different proportions of gases (especially oxygen) compared to surface air, and is also at a significantly higher pressure - high enough to counter the pressure of the water that deep. (Side note: another way you can tell the atmosphere they are breathing in the rig is set at the same pressure as the water at that depth is that there is open water in the moon pool - and it's not rushing in to fill the entire rig, which it would if the air pressure was less than the water pressure).

Aerinah

Question: The crew is in a rig at the bottom of the ocean. How is it possible for them to swim from porthole to porthole at that depth?

Chosen answer: The crew are working at that pressure and only need diving suits and submarines for long periods in the ocean and to breathe longer. Hence when they return to the surface in normal conditions, a slow return to the surface is required to avoid their bodies developing a condition called the bends. This did not happen at the end as they were protected by the aliens and their ship.

Question: In the extended version, when Bud Brigman is met by the aliens, what were the images they were showing him?

Chosen answer: Most of it was television news coverage about the increasing tensions between the US and USSR as it was playing out earlier in the movie. Additional archival footage from previous years' wars implied that the NTIs had been on Earth for quite a long time.

Question: Is there any truth to the breathing fluid used in the high pressure suit? Is that a technology actually used and is it really possible to breath and survive like that?

Chosen answer: The technology does exist, yes. Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluid_breathing for details.

Tailkinker

Question: The last 2 times I've watched the ending, the undersea life forms send out a massive tsunami to all continents to wipe us out, only to rescind it right when it is about to strike land. I never remember this being in the original version of the movie, although I was much younger then. Was this ending changed after it was released, or was it always there? And if it was changed, why did they go with the original ending, because this new one is much better?

Chosen answer: The Tsunami only exists in the director's cut of the film. Due to the length of the film, James Cameron was asked to cut down the length. The ending has, effectively, two seperate strands, the tsunami strand and the 'human' strand of the core relationship between Bud and Lindsey. As losing the relationship strand would have left things hanging, the choice was made to remove the tsunami side of things. The director's cut allowed Cameron to restore his original vision, which, as you said, is a distinct improvement.

Tailkinker
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Quotes

Bud Brigman: The guy is on his own, he's cut off from his chain of command, he's showing signs of pressure-induced psychosis, and he has a nuclear weapon. So as a personal favour to me, could you put your tongue in neutral for a while?!

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Mistakes

Early in the film Bud throws his wedding ring down the latrine and then retrieves it with his right hand so it is covered with the blue disinfectant. In a (much) later scene, Bud has a blue right hand, despite not having had one in the intervening period.

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Trivia

The dead sailor harbouring a live crab, spooking Jammer out of his wits in the sunk submarine, is director James Cameron's younger brother Mike. The scene had to be shot several times to get it right, forcing Mike to hold the live crabs in his mouth, until the cry for "action", before releasing them. At one point he had to crush one with his teeth, as it gave him quite a bit of grief. Brotherly love immortalized.

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