The “Titanic Is Returning To Nature” [VIDEO)
Depending on how old you are, some of the first in-depth looks you may have had at the real life undersea wreckage of the RMS Titanic came via Hollywood's 1997 blockbuster film of the same name starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Naturally the young co-stars and their fraught-with-drama love story held our focus, but what added to the drama so heart-wrenchingly were the circumstances surrounding their ill-fated love and the sinking of the Titanic "hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in 1912. Of the 2,200 passengers and crew on-board, more than 1,500 died."
But the footage of the Titanic itself, at the very beginning of the movie, was haunting and revealing and will stay with many of us forever. I'm thankful we have that footage. Now, only 15 years after the last serious expedition by divers (other than tourists), the recent dive that took place this year revealed that the "Titanic is returning to nature."
The same team that recently carried out "the deepest-ever plunge to the bottom of the Mariana Trench" executed this recent dive which "took place in a 4.6m-long, 3.7m-high submersible - called the DSV Limiting Factor - which was built by the US-based company Triton Submarines."
According to reports from BBC News, it was a difficult challenge for the team to make their way around the two major pieces of the wreck, which lay about 600 meters apart from one another. There is also always the danger of the divers get caught in the wreck, the thought of which is the stuff of nightmares.
In addition to exploring the wreck, the accompanying scientists are learning more about the lifeforms who dwell there, despite the extremely cold conditions and "pitch black waters." (Shudders.) One such example are the microbes that Newcastle University scientist Clare Fitzsimmons says "are eating away the iron of the wreck itself, creating 'rusticle' structures." This translates into a weaker form of metal--so weak and so fragile that if disturbed could quite literally crumble into dust.
Due to the fragile nature of the wreckage, the scientists feel that any research that can be done using the remains should be done expeditiously before it's gone forever. They feel that since the survivors have now all died, perhaps it's time to let what's left of the Titanic teach us what it can.
More details on this story can be found here from BBC News.
(Feature photo and video sourced directly from BBC News Twitter page)