The first full-size three-dimensional scan of the wreck of the “Titanic” was released Wednesday, which could help scientists gain a more accurate understanding of the conditions of the famous shipwreck that occurred in 1912. These previously unpublished high-resolution images, released by the BBC, were created using deep-sea mapping technology and show a detailed reconstruction of the wreckage, which lies submerged at a depth of nearly 4,000 meters.
The luxury liner sank after colliding with an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York in April 1912. Of the more than 2,224 passengers and crew aboard the ship, which at the time was the largest ocean liner in the world, more than 1,500 lost their lives.
Since its discovery in 1985, some 650 kilometers off the coast of Canada, the wreck of the Titanic has been the subject of numerous explorations. However, cameras had never captured the ship in its entirety. The three-dimensional reconstruction was carried out in 2022 by Magellan Ltd., an underwater mapping company, and Atlantic Productions, which is making a documentary about the project.
Using remotely controlled submarines from a specialized vessel, more than 200 hours were spent surveying the wreckage of the Titanic on the Atlantic seabed, taking more than 700,000 images to create the three-dimensional scan. They were forbidden to touch anything to avoid damaging the wreckage. Gerhard Seiffert, head of Magellan Ltd., explained that the challenge lay in mapping every square centimeter, even the less interesting parts such as the mud among the debris, which were necessary to fill the space between the relevant objects.
The images reveal the ship with the stern and bow separated and surrounded by debris, as if it had been lifted from the seabed. Even smaller details, such as the serial number on one of the propellers, are visible. These new scans could shed more light on exactly what happened to the liner, especially considering the continued disintegration of the wreckage.
Parks Stephenson, a historian and engineer who has studied the wreck for many years, stressed the importance of this technological breakthrough: “We can finally see the Titanic without human interpretations, directly from evidence and data.” He added that there is still much to learn from the wreckage, which is essentially the last visual witness to the catastrophe and has stories to tell.
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