Using over 100,000 photos taken by unmanned, underwater robots in 2010, researchers have for the first time pieced together the complete 3-mile-by-5-mile wreck site of the RMS Titanic.
The doomed luxury liner sank on the evening of April 15, 1912 on her maiden voyage after a collision with an iceberg. More than 1,500 people perished in the icy Atlantic in what remains one of the most tragic peacetime maritime disasters ever recorded.
“With the sonar map, it’s like suddenly the entire room lit up and you can go from room to room with a magnifying glass and document it,” said Parks Stephenson, a Titanic historian who consulted on the 2010 expedition.
“Studying the site with old maps was like trying to navigate a dark room with a weak flashlight.
“Nothing like this has ever been done for the Titanic site.”
Based on initial findings, it’s now been concluded that the Titanic’s stern rotated like a helicopter blade as the ship sank, rather than plunging straight down, researchers told The Associated Press last week.
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Additional details have not yet been revealed. The History Channel, a partner on the 2010 expedition, is saving those discoveries for a two-hour documentary set to air next month to mark the ship’s centennial.
Check out some additional shots of the sonar map below.