First-ever full 3D scan of the Titanic on the sea bed reveals the ruined ocean liner in incredible detail

·3-min read
An image from a 3D scan of the Titanic showing the ship's bow
A lighter image from a 3D scan of the Titanic showing the ship's bow.Atlantic/Magellan
  • The first-ever full 3D scan of the Titanic was released Wednesday, showing the wreckage of the ill-fated ship.

  • The scan, completed by Magellan as a "digital twin" of the Titanic, is incredibly detailed.

  • See the pictures below of the full scan of Titanic.

A high-tech 3D underwater scanning process has rendered the wreckage of the infamous ship Titanic in incredible detail in images released Wednesday.

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The doomed ocean liner was recorded where it rests on the sea bed in what scientists are calling the largest underwater scanning project in history.

An image from a 3D scan of the Titanic showing the entire, ruined ship on the sea bed, viewed from the port side
An image from a 3D scan of the Titanic showing the entire, ruined ship on the sea bed.Atlantic/Magellan

Deep water specialists Magellan, who produced the scans, used two submersibles that traveled 12,500 feet underwater to produce what they describe as the Titanic's "digital twin," as well as mapping the surrounding debris field.

Sixteen terabytes of data, and more than 715,000 still images went into creating the scans, they said.

An image from a 3D scan of the Titanic showing the ship's bow
An image from a 3D scan of the Titanic showing the ship's bow.Atlantic/Magellan

Experts have said that examining the wreck is a timely matter — a 2019 dive found that the remains of the ship had sharply deteriorated. Scientists predict the once-proud passenger liner could vanish by 2030 due to extreme deep sea conditions and bacteria that are eating away the metal. Previous, conventional underwater photography and filming have had to deal with poor lighting at the bottom of the ocean, producing murky, shadowy images, such as this one from 1996:

titanic
What the bow of the Titanic wreck looked like in 1996.Xavier Desmier/Gamma-Rapho/Getty

Expert Parks Stephenson said these new scans are a "true game-changer" for scholarship on the Titanic, which collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic on its maiden voyage and sank in April 1912, killing more than 1,500 people.

"What we are seeing for the first time is an accurate and true depiction of the entire wreck and debris site," Stephenson said.

The wreck was undisturbed during the scanning process, the team said in a statement.

Stephenson added that the scans show "details that none of us have ever seen before," which opens the door for new research into the Titanic. "We've got actual data that engineers can take to examine the true mechanics behind the breakup and the sinking and thereby get even closer to the true story of Titanic disaster."

An image from a 3D scan of the Titanic showing the entire, ruined ship on the sea bed, viewed from the starboard side
An image from a 3D scan of the Titanic showing the entire, ruined ship on the sea bed.Atlantic/Magellan

To get the images, the team had to endure rough sea conditions. "This was a challenging mission," Magellan Founder and CEO Richard Parkinson said. "In the middle of the Atlantic, we had to fight the elements, bad weather, and technical challenges to carry out this unprecedented mapping and digitalization operation of the Titanic."

But Magellan 3D capture specialist Gerhard Seiffert said: "When we saw the data come in it was all worth it – the level of detail we saw and recorded was extraordinary."

An image from a 3D scan of the Titanic showing the ship's bow from above
An image from a 3D scan of the Titanic showing the ship's bow from above.Atlantic/Magellan

That detail includes even the serial number displayed on one of the propellers, which can be faintly seen even though they've worn away with time and underwater conditions.

"Previously, footage has only allowed you to see one small area of the wreck at a time. This model will allow people to zoom out and to look at the entire thing for the first time," Seiffert said.

The scan of a Titanic propeller.
An image from a 3D scan of the Titanic showing a propeller and its faint serial numbers.Atlantic/Magellan

Over 100 years after its disastrous collision with an iceberg and subsequent sinking, the Titanic is now coming back to the surface in an exciting new way.

"This is the Titanic as no one had ever seen it before," Seiffert said.

Read the original article on Insider