A new expedition to the Titanic offers a spooky view of the deteriorating shipwreck, which sank 400 miles off the Newfoundland coast in 1912. Of the 2,227 passengers and crew aboad, 1,517 died in the freezing waters.
The expedition, organized by RMS Titanic Inc. and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachussets, provided us with these exclusive high-resolution photos taken by autonomous submarines sent four kilometers below the surface to scan the wreckage.
The plan is to map the 3-mile long debris field, inventorize the countless thousands of artifacts remaining on the sea floor, and build highly-detailed 3D maps of the hulk.
In this previously unreleased image, the Titanic's No. 1 cargo hatch and anchor break controls are visible through the murk. A spool-shaped capstan can be seen in the distance.
In this look-down view of the Titanic's deck, her massive anchor chains can be seen, weighing a total of 96 tons. The expedition was interrupted last week by Hurrican Danielle, which sent the crew back to shore.
A "birds eye" view of a set of bollards on the bow. The submersibles — named Ginger and Mary Ann — are equipped with sonar scanners that will generate maps revealing the true extent of the wreckage. The Titanic broke in two as it sank, with the two sections laying a third of a mile apart.
A downward view of fairlead and auxiliary anchor on the bow. Though spooky new photos are among the first treasures to come back from the deep, the objective is to generate a highly-detailed 3D map of the environment around the wreck. "I'm just excited about one day being able to put on some 3D glasses and see the wreck as it is," Susan Avery, President and Director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, told the UK's Telegraph newspaper.
A shot of the Titanic's bow. The jackstaff–a flagpole used to dress the Ship while in port–is visible in the foreground. You can follow the expedition's fortunes on Facebook and Twitter. As of September 8, they're planning to deploy Ginger after enhancing her sonar capabilities, to generate more detailed maps.
The Titanic's now-superfluous starboard anchor. More images are available at the expedition's Flickr page.