The highest quality footage ever of the Titanic shows astonishing close-ups of the underwater wreck. Take a look.
- An expedition team captured the highest quality footage ever of the Titanic in 2022.
- The footage will help scientists monitor the Titanic's decay rate and identify the sea life in and around it.
An expedition team in 2022 captured the highest quality footage of the Titanic, the iconic passenger liner that sunk in 1912 during her maiden voyage.
Less than a year after that footage was captured, a submersible on its way to explore the shipwreck has disappeared, prompting search and rescue efforts to try and locate the missing vessel and the five people onboard.
The Titan submersible, which is operated by the same company that led the 2022 expedition, lost contact with its mothership on Sunday shortly after beginning its journey to the ocean's depths.
High quality video of the shipwreck from OceanGate Expeditions' 2022 mission offers a glimpse into the deep-sea sights that passengers paid $250,000 to visit.
The footage, which is the world's first and only 8K video of the underwater wreck, shows "amazing detail" that will help marine archaeologists to study further the rate of decay of the Titanic, Stockton Rush, president of OceanGate Expeditions, the organization behind the expeditions, said at the time.
Rush is one of the five people onboard the missing Titan in 2023.
The 2022 footage will also support scientists in identifying the sea life thriving in and around the shipwreck, which lies at a depth of about 12,500 feet, according to a press release.
The 'unsinkable' ship
The Titanic 2022 Expedition team's footage has already led to experts identifying astonishing new details about the doomed luxury liner.
"For example, I had never seen the name of the anchor maker, Noah Hingley & Sons Ltd., on the portside anchor," said Rory Golden, a Titanic expert at OceanGate Expeditions, per the press release.
"I've been studying the wreck for decades and have completed multiple dives, and I can't recall seeing any other image showing this level of detail," Golden continued. "It is exciting that, after so many years, we may have discovered a new detail that wasn't as obvious with previous generations of camera technologies."
Golden said one of the "most amazing clips" in the footage shows one of the single-ended boilers that fell to the ocean's floor when the Titanic split in two. "Notably, it was one of the single-ended boilers that were first spotted when the Titanic wreck was identified back in 1985," he added, per the press release.
Of the 2,240 passengers and crew on board the Titanic, more than 1,500 lost their lives when it hit an iceberg in the mid-Atlantic. Reports later speculated that it took some six minutes for the bow section, likely traveling at approximately 30 miles per hour, to reach the ocean bottom, according to Britannica.com, where it has laid for 110 years.
Built at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the 882.5 feet long, opulent Titanic was the largest ship ever. It was constructed with a series of compartment doors that could be closed if the bow was breached and was considered unsinkable, said Britannica.com.
Other details, including the crane used for deploying a 15-ton anchor, and a shackle that was originally attached to the now-collapsed main mast of the ship, are visible in the footage.
"Later in the video, you see three round structures along the inside of the railing," said PH Nargeolet, a veteran Titanic diver, according to the press release. "These are the triple fairleads that were used to feed the docking ropes to the bollards on shore to secure the ship to the dock when the Titanic was at port."
Nargeolet, known as "Mr. Titanic," is one of the five missing passengers on board the missing submersible.
The footage also shows small green lights from the laser scaling system, which allowed the expedition team to work out the size of objects they were viewing through cameras and the main viewport of the Titan submersible.
The Titan, with five crewmembers on board, is the world's only deep-diving carbon fiber submersible. An OceanGate Expeditions spokesperson told Insider that the organization worked with NASA to design and engineer it.
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