Science & Tech
The scans have revealed some of the passengers’ personal possessions and even unopened champagne bottles.
Wreck of Titanic. Photo by Xavier DESMIER/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images.
The world’s fascination with history’s most famous shipwreck continues, as sophisticated scanning technology offers up the first chance in over 100 years to see the Titanic in its entirety. The images have captured every millimeter of the ship’s surface, leaving viewers awed by this unprecedented level of detail.
The ship has remained 12,500 feet deep since it sank in 1912 after striking an iceberg on route from Southhampton, U.K., to New York. The wreck was first discovered in the North Atlantic in 1985, and has already been extensively explored. Yet its full form has remained a mystery until now, being far too big to be captured by just one camera.
According to the BBC, researchers have finally managed to offer a complete view of the decaying ship thanks to a partnership between the media company Atlantic Productions and Magellan Ltd, which specializes in deep-sea mapping.
The scanning process took place over six weeks in the summer of 2022. It involved using two remote controlled submersibles named Romeo and Juliet to produce over 700,000 images documenting the ship from every angle. These were later stitched together to show the ship in three dimensions.
“The depth of [the ship] represents a challenge,” said the offshore data manager Gerhard Seiffert, part of Magellan’s team. “You have currents at the site too, and we’re not allowed to touch anything so as not to damage the wreck.”
As the scans show, the ship lies in two halves separated by about 2,600 feet and is surrounded by a plane of debris. Despite considerable decomposition, the main architecture of the boat is still clearly recognizable: its stern appears to have been crushed by the seabed on its descent but the bow is largely in tact.
But this is only the macro view. Hardcore Titanic enthusiasts will delight in being able to zoom in on details like the spot where the grand staircase once stood or even the serial number still marked onto one of the propellers. And as for evidence of passengers on the the ill-fated voyage? Personal possessions, including several pairs of shoes, can be found in amongst decorative items and even champagne bottles that nobody ever had a chance to pop.
Most significantly, the scans offer historians the opportunity to study the wreck even as it continues to disintegrate. It is hoped that they will support new analysis into how the ship sunk.
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