An expedition team has captured the highest quality footage of the Titanic, the iconic passenger liner that sunk in 1912 during her maiden voyage.
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, said Stockton Rush, president of OceanGate Expeditions, the organization behind the expedition.
It 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."
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.
With the 2022 Titanic Expedition now completed, OceanGate Expeditions is already planning for the next trip to the wreck. It will embark in May of 2023 and will capture new footage.
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