Science | Archeology
The company OceanGate has been the first to capture the current state of the ocean liner with an unprecedented level of detail
It seems unbelievable that after all that has been investigated and documented on the wreck of the Titanic, this iconic British ship, which sank in the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912 after colliding with an iceberg, continues to be talked about. This time it is the publication of the highest resolution and quality images with which the wreck has been recorded in the depths of the ocean.
The Titanic 2022 Expedition of the OceanGate company has been the first to manage to submerge to 3,821 meters, where the ship is located, and capture an amazing level of details and colors thanks to an 8K resolution camera. The video has been published by the company on its YouTube channel OceanGate Expeditions.
"The amazing detail of the 8k images will help our team of maritime scientists and archaeologists characterize Titanic's decay more accurately as we obtain new images in 2023 and beyond," said Stockton Rush, president of OceanGate Expeditions. “Comparing these images and videos with those we took in 2021, we see slight changes in certain areas of the wreck. Our science team will review all images taken at different resolutions to detect any changes."
The mission lasted 8 days and consisted of several high-definition cameras, underwater vehicles, such as the so-called Titan, and a 3D probe. Among the new details discovered is, for example, the name of the manufacturer of the port anchor, Noah Hingley & Sons Ltd. “I have been studying the wreck for decades and have done several dives, and I don't remember seeing any other images. showing this level of resolution. It is exciting that after so many years we have discovered a new detail that was not so obvious with previous generations of camera technologies,” explains Rory Golden, OceanGate Expeditions Titanic expert and veteran Titanic diver.
The footage offers scenes from the bow of the Titanic –so well remembered from the film starring Kate Winset and Leonardo Dicaprio–, the port anchor, hull number one, a heavy anchor chain (each link weighs approximately 91 kilograms), the hold number one cargo and a solid bronze winch. Decomposition is also visible where part of the Titanic's rail collapsed and fell off the ship.
PH Nargeolet, veteran submersible pilot and Titanic diver explains what can be seen in the recording shared by OceanGate: “At the beginning of the video, the crane used to deploy the huge 15-tonne anchor, which is still on the deck of the ship, appears. ship, and the shackle that was originally attached to the main mast, which has now collapsed. Later in the video three round structures are seen along the inside of the railing. These are the fairleads that were used to feed the mooring ropes to the bollards on land to secure the ship to the dock when the Titanic was in port. The green lights you see when looking at the port anchor are from the laser ranging system. This allows us to accurately determine the size of the objects we are looking at in the camera and through the main window of the Titan submersible."
"One of the most amazing clips shows one of the single-ended calderas that fell to the ocean floor when the Titanic split in two, which was one of the earliest objects discovered when the Titanic wreck was identified in 1985." Golden points out.
It is expected that these images, together with those obtained in future expeditions, will allow us to determine the current rate of decomposition of the Titanic and to measure the changes that it undergoes year after year. Likewise, the video will also serve to identify the species of fauna that are observed in the Titanic and its surroundings, and archaeologists will be able to document the elements of the wreck and the debris field in greater detail. The next expedition will embark in May 2023.