First Manned Titanic Mission In 14 Years Finds Ship Deteriorating Rapidly
Explorers on the first manned mission to visit the wreck site of the Titanic in 14 years have discovered that the ship is deteriorating fairly rapidly.
This might not come as that much of a surprise given that it has been sat 4,000 metres (13,125ft) beneath the North Atlantic Ocean for more than 100 years, but even those who dived down to see the wreckage were taken aback by the scale of the ship's destruction.
Basically, salt has long since corroded away a lot of the ship's structure and metal eating bacteria is rife. All of that adds up to the partial hull collapse that the divers spotted.
The hull on the side near to where the ship's officers would have been quartered has started to fall in on itself, in the process destroying what is left of the famously opulent stateroom accommodation that would have been afforded to the wealthiest passengers onboard.
Titanic historian Park Stephenson described the damage to the wreck as 'shocking' and added: "That whole deck hole on that side is collapsing, taking with it the staterooms, and the deterioration is going to continue advancing.
"[The] Captain's bath tub is a favourite image among the Titanic enthusiasts, and that's now gone."
In case you're the kind of person who doesn't want to submerge themselves several kilometres beneath the Atlantic, the first ever 4K footage has been taken of the Titanic during this expedition and will be published with an accompanying documentary made by Atlantic Productions.
This footage will also allow people the opportunity to view the wreck via augmented reality and virtual reality technology.
Victor Vescovo, an explorer and chief executive of Caladan Oceanic exploration company, said: "It's a big wreck, I wasn't quite prepared for how large it was."
Yep, famously quite big. Titanic, if you will.
Vescovo continued: "It was extraordinary to see it all, and the most amazing moment came when I was going along the side of the Titanic and the bright lights of the submersible reflected off a portal and came right back - it was like the ship was winking at me. It was amazing."
This work is important because - obviously - the ship is going to keep on deteriorating until, inevitably, there is nothing left.
Turns out that microscopic bacteria has little regard for the preservation of historical monuments.
Whilst the crew were down there, they did showed respect by laying a wreath for the more than 1,500 people killed when the ship sank in 1912.
Mission Titanic will air next year on National Geographic.
Featured Image Credit: Atlantic Productions