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First Full-Size, Digital Scan of the Titanic Yields Spectacular Imagery
due to the titanic's size, and the limited visibility of the deep seal, we've only seen it in partial glimpses — until now
A comprehensive digital scan of the Titanic, resting 3,800m below the Atlantic, has been generated through deep-sea mapping. The 3D model offers an unprecedented view of the entire ship — as if the surrounding water was removed — and could provide fresh insights into the circumstances of the 1912 disaster.
Over 1,500 lives were lost when the Titanic hit an iceberg on its inaugural journey from Southampton to New York, and there are still unanswered questions about the ship. The 3D scan is a significant step towards evidence-based research of exactly what happened when the Titanic sunk.
Despite extensive exploration since the wreck's discovery in 1985, the Titanic's vast size and deep-sea location have limited visibility to partial glimpses. The new scan, however, presents a complete view of the wreck, including the bow and stern, separated by 800m, and the surrounding debris field.
The scan was conducted in 2022 by deep-sea mapping company Magellan Ltd and Atlantic Productions, who are producing a documentary about the project. Using remotely controlled submersibles, the team captured over 700,000 images during 200 hours of surveying, resulting in an accurate 3D reconstruction.
Gerhard Seiffert of Magellan, who led the expedition planning, described it as the largest underwater scanning project he had undertaken. Challenges included the depth, currents, and the need to avoid damaging the wreck while mapping every square centimeter, even seemingly uninteresting areas.
The scan reveals both the ship's scale and minute details, such as a propeller's serial number. The bow, covered in rust stalactites, is still recognizable, with a hole showing where the grand staircase once stood. The stern, however, is a twisted mass of metal, having collapsed as it spiraled into the sea floor. The debris field contains items from the ship and passenger personal belongings.
The wreck has been deteriorating due to sea conditions and microbial activity, making it crucial to understand the disaster before it's too late. This scan preserves the wreck's current state, enabling experts to examine every detail and potentially uncover new information about the disaster. Pics below; watch a video here.