Never-before-seen footage of Titanic's wreck is being released to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the movie Titanic. Peering around the murky depths of the Atlantic Ocean, the raw footage shows the world’s most famous shipwreck in all its rusting and decaying glory.
The video footage was filmed during an expedition in July 1986 by researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Returning to the site just nine months after the discovery, the team used a small submarine called Alvin and the newly developed remotely operated vehicle, Jason Jr, to view the ship for the first time since its ill-fated voyage in 1912.
The "unsinkable" ocean liner famously sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912, after striking an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton in England to New York City. At least 1,500 passengers died and the wreck sunk to the seabed, some 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) below sea level around 740 kilometers (400 nautical miles) from Newfoundland in Canada.
The final resting place of the Titanic wasn’t discovered until September 1985, 73 years after it met its icy fate. Since then, fewer people have visited the Titanic’s wreck than have flown in space, but a small handful of expeditions have ventured to its wreck and returned with stunning footage.
You can view a short excerpt of the new footage here before it goes live later today.
A full cut of the newly released footage is being premiered later today on the WHOI YouTube channel at 7:30 pm EST (February 16 at 12:30 am UTC), or you can view it in the video embedded below. Lasting 1 hour and 21 minutes, it primarily consists of raw and unnarrated footage as the team explores the wreck lying on the sea bed.
Most of this footage has never been released to the public, says the WHOI. They're releasing it to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1997 movie Titanic directed by James Cameron.
“More than a century after the loss of Titanic, the human stories embodied in the great ship continue to resonate,” Cameron, ocean explorer and director, said in a WHOI statement sent to IFLScience.
“Like many, I was transfixed when Alvin and Jason Jr. ventured down to and inside the wreck. By releasing this footage, WHOI is helping tell an important part of a story that spans generations and circles the globe.".
It’s good to catch a glimpse of the wreck while we still can as its days may be numbered. Expeditions in recent years have seen the ship becoming rapidly disintegrated and dissolved by rust, sea salt, bacteria, flocks of deep-sea creatures, and other forces of nature.