First ever full-size scan of Titanic reveals wreck as never seen before

·3-min read
First ever full-size scan of Titanic reveals wreck as never seen before

The first full digital scan of the Titanic wreckage has been created, revealing details of the world’s most famous shipwreck as never seen before.

Curious history buffs can take a 3D tour of the ship that sank in 1912, killing more than 1,500 people, in a video created from more than 700,000 images taken of every angle of the wreckage.

The 3D render shows the ship as though on dry land, giving people a unique view of details such as the radio room and the serial number on the propeller.

It’s believed to be the first “unbiased view” captured of the Titanic wreckage in its entirety that relies on pure data.

The scan was carried out by deep-sea mapping company Magellan Ltd and Atlantic Productions, who are making a documentary about the project.

Underwater robots controlled by specialist teams spent a painstaking 200 hours surveying the length and breadth of the wreck, which lies in two parts in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Canada.

The BBC superimposed the entire digital scan of the wreck inside the London Stadium, which held the 2012 Olympics, showing its gigantic scale.

Historians hope the digital scan will offer new insight into exactly what happened on the fateful night of April 14.

Atlantic Productions CEO Andrew Geffen told BBC Breakfast on Wednesday: “Great explorers have been down to the Titanic…but actually they went with really low-resolution cameras and they could only speculate on what happened.

“We now have every rivet of the Titanic, every detail, we can put it back together, so for the first time we can actually see what happened and use real science to find out what happened.

“It will take a long time to go through all those details but literally week by week there are new findings.”

Historian Parks Stephenson told BBC Breakfast that the Titanic wreck site has previously been “subject to human bias as we try to look at the scale of it”.

“The context is put together by artists, either painting artists or digital model artists. Every artist that tries to give you overall context of the wreck is going to unconsciously insert some human bias, always trying to make the wreck look like the ship used to,” he explained.

“But this model is the first one based on a pure data cloud, that stitches all that imagery together with data points created by a digital scan, and with the help from a little aritifiical intelligence, we are seeing the first unbiased view of the wreck.”

He added: “I believe this is a new phase for underwater forensic investigation and examination.”

The wreck of the Titanic lies at a depth of about 12,500 feet, around 370 nautical miles off the coast of Canadian island Newfoundland. It lies in two main pieces about 2,000 feet apart.

Rare footage of the Titanic shipwreck was released in February, 37 years after the ruins were first discovered, in tandem with the film’s 25th anniversary.

The video was taken by a team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the French National Institute of Oceanography months after they discovered the wreckage in September 1985.

The ship sank after colliding with an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in April 1912.