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A New 3-D Scan of the Titanic Shows the Cruise Liner in a Whole New Light

More than a century after it sunk on its maiden voyage, the Titanic still captivates people to this day. 

Now we’re getting a look at the wreckage like we’ve never seen before. Deep sea mapping company Magellan Ltd. has created a full-scale 3-D scan of the doomed vessel that provides unprecedented 360-views. Magellan’s ambitious imaging project produced six terabytes of data, more than 700,000 images from every angle, and a video with high-resolution, according to The New York Times. 

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A team of researchers used a pair of remote-controlled submersibles—named Romeo and Juliet—to map the ship and a three-mile debris field located 12,500 feet below the surface. The scans were created during a six-week voyage in the summer of 2022, according to Atlantic Productions, which is behind a forthcoming documentary about the project. The ship was in no way touched or disturbed during the process, and a flower laying ceremony was also held to the victims of the wreck—an estimated 1,500 passengers.

Although the Titanic’s wreckage has been photographed before, previous images didn’t have the best lighting and were further hampered by murky water. The new images don’t have such impediments, allowing us to see the ship in “extraordinary detail,” Atlantic Productions told The Times. Even personal effects can be seen such as watches, hats and Champagne bottles.

Many elements of the actual structure are also visible in the images. However, microbes continue to disintegrate the cruise liner, meaning researchers are on a time crunch to learn whatever they can from the ship, according to BBC News. The hope is that the mapping project can aid in that process.

“There are still questions, basic questions, that need to be answered about the ship,” Parks Stephenson, a Titanic analyst and historian, told BBC. He said the model was “one of the first major steps to driving the Titanic story towards evidence-based research—and not speculation.”

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