A long time ago, I went to high school. And the school I attended was Collegiate, in Manhattan, which was and is a great, amazing place. (And, I’m proud to say, the oldest educational institution in America, established in 1628. Take that, Harvard.)

One of the many reasons I loved going to Collegiate: 12th graders were encouraged to spend their last year developing a “Senior Project.” It was kind of like a scaled-down Ph.D. thesis: we submitted proposals, were assigned faculty advisors, and went about the thing for the whole year, in addition to the regular course work we had.

To no one’s surprise, I chose to design a theme park. (And, again, proud to say, it was awarded “Honors” at my graduation.) Did drawings, built a scale model, it was so much fun. The name of the park was “Atlantis” and it was filled with sea-themed rides. Most of them were largely off-the-shelf attractions, but a few were enhanced with elaborate scenic effects. (The Sea Serpent would have been a Schwarzkopf shuttle loop built inside a mountain and over the park's central artificial lake.)

The "anchor" attraction, so to speak, was Voyage Into The Challenger Deep, a simulator ride into a section of the Mariana Trench that drops an incredible 36,070 feet below sea level, the deepest point in our oceans. (This natural wonder has always fascinated me; read more about it here.)

The logo I created for it back then looks pretty weak these days. But I've never stopped thinking about the ride, and what it could be. So I created the graphic above that I think represents it a bit better, and still dream about a ride that would be informative and scientifically accurate, to a point, but also pretty scary.

We would ride in the first "rapid descent" submersibles able to carry tourists down into this dark world, crafts with state-of-the-art, nano-tech hulls (a little science fiction) to withstand the intense water pressures at those depths. The view screen at the fore would allow us to see the aquatic life outside.

There would be lots of cool fish, especially those truly grotesque deep-sea critters, like these. And when we get to the very bottom, we'd come into contact with something not yet seen before, something very large, with a lot of appendages. And it attacks us.

When those appendages wrap around the ship, the roof would start to buckle inwards. But before we're crushed into oblivion, we'd manage to escape, engines at full power, and rush back to the surface.

(As you can probably guess, Disneyland's Subs made a big impression on me as a child.)