Brand new images of the Titanic reveal unprecedented views of the shipwreck and may shed new light on how the iconic liner sank more than a century ago.
The first ever full-sized digital scan of the ship liner’s wreckage, which lies 12,500 feet below water on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, has been developed using deep sea mapping.
Analysts hope that the images will provide fresh insight into how the Titanic went down on April 15, 1912 after the liner struck an iceberg during its ill-fated maiden voyage.
The disaster — which has been immortalized in popular culture through documentaries, books and a Hollywood blockbuster — killed more than 1,500 people on board – roughly 70% of the ship’s passengers and crew.
The scan was carried out last year by Magellan Ltd, a deep-sea mapping company, in partnership with Atlantic Productions, a London-based company that is currently making a film about the project.
“I felt there was something much bigger here that we could get from the Titanic,” Anthony Geffen, the CEO of Atlantic Production, told CBS News. “If we could scan it, if we could capture in all its detail… we could find out how it sank and how the different parts of the boat fell apart and we can find a lot of personal stories down there as well.”
The scan provides a three-dimensional view of the wreckage in its entirety, enabling the ship once known as “unsinkable” to be seen as if the water has been drained away.
While the Titanic has been examined in detail since the wreck was discovered in 1985, the sheer size of the ship has meant that prior to the digital scan, cameras had only ever been able to capture the decaying wreckage in snapshots.
Small submersibles boats, remotely controlled by a team on board a specialist ship, spent more than 200 hours analyzing the entirety of the wreck. The team took more than 700,000 pictures from every angle, creating an exact 3D reconstruction of the boat.
The rust-colored wreckage lies in two parts, with the bow and the stern separated by over 2,600 feet in opposite directions. A huge field of debris surrounds the broken vessel.
The iconic bow remains instantly recognizable despite lying underwater for over a century.
In the debris surrounding the ship, lies miscellaneous items including ornate metalwork from the ship, statues and unopened champagne bottles.
There are also personal possessions, including dozens of shoes.
The digital scan has come at a critical time as the Titanic continues to deteriorate, Geffen told CBS News.
“What we now have for the historical record is, before it falls apart, literally a record of everything to do with the wreck of the Titanic, which will be around forever,” he said.