The First Full 3D Scan of the Titanic, Made of More Than 700,000 Images Capturing the Wreck’s Every Detail

Even the most ardent shipwreck enthusiasts among us must make peace with the fact that, in all probability, we’ll never get to see the Titanic for ourselves. But now, at least, we have a substitute in the form of the ship’s “digital twin,” based on more than 700,000 images collected underwater over 200 hours.”It provides a unique 3D view of the entire ship, enabling it to be seen as if the water has been drained away,” report BBC News’ Rebecca Morelle and Alison Francis. “The scan was carried out in summer 2022 by Magellan Ltd, a deep-sea mapping company, and Atlantic Productions, who are making a documentary about the project.”

You can catch a glimpse of how the scan looks in the clip from the Times at the top of the post, but it only hints at its true level of detail. “The joint mission by Magellan and Atlantic Productions deployed two submersibles nicknamed Romeo and Juliet to map every millimeter of the wreck, including the debris field spanning some three miles,” writes Ars Techica’s Jennifer Ouellette.

“The result was a whopping 16 terabytes of data, along with over 715,000 still images and 4K video footage. That raw data was then processed to create the 3D digital twin. The resolution is so good, one can make out part of the serial number on one of the propellers.”

“The bow, now covered in stalactites of rust, is still instantly recognizable even 100 years after the ship was lost,” write Morelle and Francis. “Sitting on top is the boat deck, where a gaping hole provides a glimpse into a void where the grand staircase once stood.” As one might expect, the Titanic has come through twelve decades at the bottom of the North Atlantic ocean somewhat worse for wear, and getting worse all the time. “Microbes are eating away at it and parts are disintegrating. Historians are well aware that time is running out to fully understand the maritime disaster.” Indeed, there will come a day when the remains of the Titanic will have vanished completely. But even then, its digital twin — or, perhaps, digital ghost — will have more to teach us.

Related content:

See the First 8K Footage of the Titanic, the Highest-Quality Video of the Shipwreck Yet

Watch the Titanic Sink in Real Time in a New 2-Hour, 40 Minute Animation

Watch 80 Minutes of Never-Released Footage Showing the Wreckage of the Titanic (1986)

How the Titanic Sank: James Cameron’s New CGI Animation

The Titanic: Rare Footage of the Ship Before Disaster Strikes (1911-1912)

Titanic Survivor Interviews: What It Was Like to Flee the Sinking Luxury Liner

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

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Comments (18)
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  • Rob T Firefly says:

    Needs more public accessibility of the data. We should all be able to zoom around this thing in our computers, at least a lower-resolution version.

  • Billy says:

    They should bring back thee titanic from the ocean and keep it like a treasure in the names of those people who dies is like you are rescueing those lives and put titanic in a big museum to honor those lives I know the titanic could break in the intention to take it out from the ocean but is better than see it deasapier in the ocean with the time

  • Anna says:

    No. This should stay exactly there. Is the grave for the dead people and animals who lost their lives there

  • Jason w Brooks says:

    People wake up ! That boat is not the Titanic ! It’s the Titanic’s twin sister The Olympic. Look it up ! It’s one of the biggest secrets of all time ! There’s a Documentary “The Titanic: The Shocking Truth” on Prime documentaries.

  • Christ lutz says:

    It can’t be brought up. It is falling apart. It’s a graveyard right where it sits. It would be terrible to even attempt it.

  • James says:

    @Jason w Brooks
    Even a minuscule amount of research will disprove this old conspiracy theory. Just because it’s blown up on TikTok recently doesn’t make it truth. Very little on that app is truth to begin with anyway. As for the Prime documentary – It’s an older documentary presented by a conspiracy theorist, and is laughably full of errors and oversights. To address a few: Switching the ships after the Olympic’s collision with the Hawke would have been impossible – the paneling took months to install. Additionally, the items that have been recovered from the Titanic’s resting place have all borne the yard number from the Titanic, not the Olympic. As for the insurance fraud idea – the ship was insured for LESS than it cost to build. Simple math disproves that theory easily, as it would have been a catastrophic financial loss, not a gain.

  • Real person says:

    Love it when the bots are out to play. The formatting, the emphasis and the actual deep care to such a silly trending topic?

  • Meredith Helton says:

    It should be left alone. It would fall apart If it the attempt is made to bring it too the surface.

  • Darby says:

    Your not smart, we know it’s the Titanic. I’ve studied the ship for years and to all those people who believe the Titanic was the Olympic, it isn’t. The portholes and such don’t even match up. We also know the Titanic had a coal fire at one point before sinking, and the marks were found on the wreck.

  • Darby says:

    As much as I respect having the Titanic as a gravesite, I feel like raising parts of the wreck for display or a memorial would be neat. They could also melt down parts of the wreckage to make a wall with the names of those who died. If I died on that faithful night, I would want my body far from where I was dragged down into those icy depths. Though they also say there’s no bodies by the Titanic, I believe there may be some sealed deep within that cold steel hull.

  • Mark says:

    You can’t bring things that have been that far underwater for that long to the surface, they disintegrate. It’s not a risk, it’s a guarantee.

  • Rebecca Tucker says:

    I agree knowing what happened on that night that the unsinkable sunk would be a great discovery. Also, getting a full digital like your of it’s remains is intriguing; but don’t take the risk of destroying what’s left of her. Especially, if it’s a guarantee that she will disintegrate. Let her and all the lives lost in that cold night rest in peace. I have always been very intised by the “history” of the Titanic. I am sure that many people to come will be very interested in the “true” story of that faithful night she went down. And who knows we may finally get to know in detail everything that happened leading up to her going down. God rest all the souls lost on that cold night..

  • Keith Post says:

    Nothing left of bodies nature took its course. They should raise it just like they looked at the wreckage from 911. The remaining families deserve full closure on what happened that night.

  • Jennifer Pritchett says:

    Hope u knw that I watch titanic and I have noticed it was the Olympic cause they couldn’t build titanic the (original) so who’s the conspiracy theory now!!!!!!!

  • Simon holdsworth says:

    You cannot raise her, it’s 5 miles down, making it impossible.

  • Colton Gracioso says:

    Are you stupid? Neither ship crashed, the government is feeding us fake images of the wreck. Those people on board were used for experiments.

  • Brando says:

    dude, no

  • Nathan says:

    She is 2 ½ miles and the state of her wreck is what makes it impossible aswell as the public

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