First ever full-sized scans of Titanic reveal wreck as never seen before

18 May 2023, 01:04

First ever full-sized scans show the Titanic as never seen before
First ever full-sized scans show the Titanic as never seen before. Picture: Atlantic Productions/Magellan

By Emma Soteriou

The first ever full-sized scans of the Titanic show the shipwreck as never seen before more than 100 years on from the tragedy.

Scientists took thousands of digital images to create a "digital twin" of the passenger liner, which sank in 1912 after hitting an iceberg while on its maiden voyage to New York.

The digital twin was created using deep-sea mapping of the real Titanic, which lies 3,800m (12,500ft) down in the Atlantic.

The images show the wreckage in greater detail than ever before, with rust on the ship's bow and the serial number on a propeller visible.

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The serial number on a propeller is visible.
The serial number on a propeller is visible. Picture: Atlantic Productions/Magellan

Deepwater specialists Magellan used more than 715,000 images and full 4k video footage of the wreck to create the scans.

Two submersibles mapped every millimetre of the ship as well as a three-mile debris field surrounding the wreck.

The scan is made up from 700,000 images
The scan is made up from 700,000 images. Picture: Atlantic Productions/Magellan

Parks Stephenson, a Titanic expert who has studied it for 20 years, said it was a "true game-changer".

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

"I'm seeing details that none of us have ever seen before and this allows me to build upon everything that we have learned to date and see the wreck in a new light.

"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 the Titanic disaster.

"For the next generation of Titanic exploration, research and analysis, this is the beginning of a new chapter."

The bow of the Titanic
The bow of the Titanic. Picture: Atlantic Productions/Magellan

Magellan's Gerhard Seiffert, who led the planning for the expedition, said the company's digital twin provides a "highly accurate photorealistic 3D model" of the wreck.

"This model will allow people to zoom out and to look at the entire thing for the first time," he said.

"So, by capturing this 3D model, what we're able to do is visualise the wreck in a completely new way, there's all kinds of amazing small little details that you can see.

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

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