NEW YORK—Parenting magazine released its annual list of the best and worst places to raise a child this week, once again naming the Mariana Trench—an undersea chasm located 36,000 feet beneath the western Pacific Ocean—as the least desirable location for rearing children.
The periodical’s staff reportedly selected amongst thousands of locations, weighing a diverse range of criteria such living costs, air quality, and local amenities, categories for which the pitch-black, silt-covered abyss unanimously received an “F” rating.
“In all categories, the Mariana Trench consistently got our lowest marks as a good place to start a family,” the 14-page article read in part. “The school system is nonexistent, the nearest playground is 300 nautical miles away, and at over 15,000 pounds per square inch, the hydrostatic pressure is enough to crush a child in less than a second.”
“While the area does contain a low crime rate, that benefit is quickly negated by the Mariana Trench’s lack of a police department, not to mention fire, sanitation, highway, or public works departments,” the article continued.
The Mariana Trench, with zero acres of community parkland, a median household income of $000,000.00, and an unemployment rate of 100 percent, has held its spot as Parenting’s worst place to raise a child for seven consecutive years now, thanks largely to its un-family-friendly freezing temperatures and high concentration of exothermic bacteria.
According to the magazine, competition for the worst spot in the rankings was particularly fierce this year, with the Mariana Trench competing with locations as far-ranging as Mt. Everest, an industrial slaughterhouse, an iceberg drifting in the Arctic, St. Louis, and the cone of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano.
“In composing our rankings, we found that, compared to somewhere like Sunnyvale, CA—a town in which we would highly recommend parents raise their children—the Mariana Trench lacks many of the conveniences such as walking trails or shopping outlets that would be attractive to a family,” the magazine’s editor, Samuel Norton, explained. “While you could conceivably go hiking with your kids in the [crescent-shaped oceanic valley] Challenger Deep or sign them up for swim team, you would still have to somehow get over the perpetual darkness that constantly cloaks the trench in all directions.”
“And if you’re looking for a decent pediatrician, you’re going to have your work cut out for you,” Norton added.
The magazine’s editors found that with no community centers, golf courses, neighborhood gardens, or social outlets of any sort to speak of, there was little if anything to distract a mother or father from the extremely stressful lifestyle that would be typical of raising a family 5,269 fathoms beneath the sea.
Parenting also criticized the housing market in the Mariana Trench, emphasizing that the cost of building and maintaining a state-of-the-art titanium-reinforced bathysphere capable of withstanding the location’s volcanic heat vents and constant earthquakes would be a minimum of roughly $20 million—an investment they said was far out of the range of most families.
“In terms of commuting options alone, the Mariana Trench would prove a real nightmare for any working parent,” Norton remarked, going on to call the location’s utter lack of public transportation “simply unacceptable.” “I mean, to even reach the trench in the first place, you would need to acquire an extremely sophisticated diving bell, convince your family to stow themselves one or two at a time along with all of their possessions, and then plunge 6.85 miles down into a dark, undersea chasm devoid of any sense of community, or any warm-blooded life whatsoever.”
“At that point, you have to ask yourself, ‘Is this really what’s best for my child?’” Norton added.
Ultimately, the magazine’s staff urged parents to consider their family first when choosing whether or not to live in the Mariana Trench.
“The obstacles your child will face in their first years of school are already going to be enormous,” Norton said. “Having to contend with the challenge of having their head literally implode when exposed to their hometown’s atmosphere can only make things worse.”