By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Dec 26, 2012 at 9:14 AM

If you've ever wondered how low Milwaukee can go, wonder no more. Even though Lake Michigan isn't even the deepest of the Great Lakes, Milwaukee is as deep as you can get in the Atlantic Ocean.

There a spot 100 miles northwest off the coast of Puerto Rico that is called the Milwaukee Deep – alternatively, the Milwaukee Depth – and it's the deepest spot in the Atlantic Ocean. The Milwaukee Deep is located within the Puerto Rico Trench, a low spot where two tectonic plates meet along the boundary between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

No, this low spot in the Atlantic is not named for Milwaukee because it's full of High Life. Rather, it got its name from a U.S. navy Omaha class cruiser called the USS Milwaukee, which, in 1939, discovered the Milwaukee Deep.

The ship recorded the submarine depression as being at 28,680 feet. Thirteen years later another ship took a reading of 28,560 feet, a figure considered to be nearly identical to the USS Milwaukee's datum.

What's at the bottom of the sea in the Milwaukee Deep? According to, "Its bottom is covered with mud, sand, rock, and shells."

The USS Milwaukee – one of five ships thusly named – was launched in 1922 and was transferred on loan to the Soviet navy in 1944 and rechristened the Murmansk. It was scrapped in 1949.

In case you're interested, there's also a science fiction thriller called "Milwaukee Deep." Just sayin'.

There you go, a free bit of New Year's Eve party small talk for you.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.