Director James Cameron sure knows how to celebrate a birthday. The director, who turns 56 today (happy birthday!) plans to spend his big day deep underwater. Cameron's plans involve taking a submersible to a depth of 5200 feet at Russia's Lake Baikal -- the world's deepest freshwater lake.

The director clearly loves being beneath the waves -- as The Abyss proved back in 1989 -- and has other oceanic projects in the works. When not working on breaking his own box office records, the filmmaker is building a submarine that will take him 36,000 feet below the ocean's surface -- that's nearly seven miles down! Meanwhile, he's developing a new underwater 3D camera that he intends to use on a new feature film. Cameron states that this undisclosed new project might be the film he makes before starting on the sequel to his record-breaking Avatar. Let's just hope it doesn't take as long to make as Avatar did, otherwise we'll all be old before we take another trip to Pandora.

And what happens today if the weather in Russia isn't good enough for a trip of nearly a mile below the surface of Lake Baikal? Cameron says he has a contingency plan -- one that involves getting drunk with his Russian crew while staying in port. Sounds like a great way to mark the passing of another year in either case.

[via Associated Press]