A blueprint in Irish history, the marvel and tragedy of the Titanic has captivated and scarred the lives of many. Now, 4K images captured of the RMS Titanic show the wreck as never seen before.
On 10 April 1912, the RMS Titanic set off just ten days after construction finished at the Harland and Wolff shipyard, Belfast. Now, just 580 km (370 miles) south of Newfoundland, Canada, the Titanic has lay at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean for just over a century.
In August 2019, a groundbreaking expedition captured the first 4K images of the RMS Titanic, wakening the ship from its slumber. If you’re interested in facts about the Titanic, keep reading!
Uncovering the images – a remote expedition
The expedition was led by an esteemed team consisting of leader Rob McCallum, Titanic expert Parks Stephenson, explorer Victor Vescovo, and members of Triton Submarines. Their venture is the first in 14 years to explore the Titanic.
The location of the wreck is fairly remote, meaning that it has proven difficult in the past to explore. Examining the ship, explorers and scientists have determined that underwater bacteria, salt, and the unforgiving current is rapidly eroding its frame.
Scientist Lori Johnson said, “The future of the wreck is going to continue to deteriorate over time; it’s a natural process. These are natural types of bacteria […], a community working symbiotically to eat, if you will, the iron and the sulphur.”
Conditions like these are gradually deteriorating the ship into a shadow of its former grandeur. Therefore, expeditions like this are vital in uncovering its history.
A deep dive – miles below the surface
The RMS Titanic lies almost 3.3 km (2 miles) below the Atlantic Ocean’s surface. Using cutting-edge technology, the team deployed a submersible named the DSV Limiting Factor to reach the wreck.
A total of five dives over eight days utilised specially adapted submersible cameras. They were able to gain accurate 3D model images and 4K images of the RMS Titanic.
This technology has allowed explorers to capture the ship’s ever-eroding history in a new light. It opens up the possibility of visualising the wreck using virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) in the future.
Belfast offers many Titanic experiences for tourists and natives alike, however the 4K images will offer the most life-like portrayal of the wreck ever witnessed.
The big release – the wreckage on-screen
The incredibly detailed 4K video footage of the wreck is to be released in a new documentary film.
Whilst its premier date is yet to be released, the film is much anticipated. It is produced by BAFTA and Emmy award-winning Atlantic Productions, London.
Atlantic Productions will also publish further information on the expedition to coincide with the film’s release.
A fading history – quarters lost to the sea
Promotional images showing the ship’s exterior have proved fascinating so far. The exploration team has also described some of the more shocking images that show the relentless corrosion of the ship.
It has proven to be only a mirage of the iconic image it was when it left Belfast. Titanic historian Parks Stephenson said, “The most shocking area of deterioration was the starboard side of the officer’s quarters, where the captain’s quarters were.
“[The] Captain’s bathtub is a favourite image among the Titanic enthusiasts, and that’s now gone. That whole deck hole on that side is collapsing, taking with it the staterooms, and the deterioration is going to continue advancing.”
Remembering the tragedy – in memory of those lost
Uncovering the site of the disaster for the first time in over a decade, the team laid a wreath and held a short ceremony to honour the lives lost in 1912.
Many hope that the images captured will illustrate the tragic events through a new lens, alongside attractions and exhibitions such as Titanic Belfast.