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Metal-munching bacteria devouring Titanic’s remains & turning wreck to dust (VIDEO)

Metal-munching bacteria devouring Titanic’s remains & turning wreck to dust (VIDEO)
An army of microbes is munching through the Titanic wreck, a rare dive has revealed. The famous ship has deteriorated since it was last visited, and will soon disappear entirely as it’s subsumed into the Atlantic Ocean.

Deep ocean explorers recently visited the famous ship’s wreck, the first crewed dive in 14 years, and were shocked to witness the extent of its decay from metal-eating bacteria and exposure to salt erosion and strong ocean currents.

“There are microbes on the shipwreck that are eating away the iron of the wreck itself, creating ‘rusticle’ structures, which is a much weaker form of the metal,” expedition scientist Clare Fitzsimmons told the BBC. The rusticles will continue to dissolve, eventually being reduced to a powder that can be swept away by the current.  

The iconic Titanic passenger ship sank after hitting an iceberg in 1912 and its wreck lies in two parts 3,810 meters (about 12,500 feet) deep in the waters off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. 

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Titanic historian Park Stephenson said the most “shocking” deterioration was at the starboard side of the ship, where the officer’s quarters are. A deck hole is collapsing there and “taking with it the staterooms.” The famous captain’s bath tub has now disappeared. 

The Triton Submarines exploration team conducted five dives to the Titanic’s resting place and filmed the wreck in 4K for the first time. They surveyed the site using photogrammetry to assess its condition, and to make it possible to create future 3D recreations and virtual reality visualizations of the ship. 

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Previous estimates found the Titanic could vanish by about 2030 and the scientists are now studying how different types of metal erode to determine just how long it has left. 

Although the Titanic is being consumed by the ocean, in turn it is providing a refuge for a diverse array of sea creatures. 

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