What's left of the RMS Titanic is disintegrating at an alarmingly rapid rate, but that hasn’t stopped researchers and deep sea divers from exploring the wreckage some 4,000 meters beneath sea-level. Nearly 13 years after the last time the public was able to view the underwater ship, European travel company Blue Marble Private announced the launch of intimate expeditions near the vessel in 2018.
While an adventurous opportunity, diving across Titanic’s wreckage does pose a potential threat to the ship, and researchers have blamed divers and microbes called rusticles for speeding up the ship’s disintegration.
The rusticles, which eat away at steel and iron, grow on the inside and outside of the ship and may be the culprit behind already-crumbling areas of the ship, including the Titanic’s famous promenade deck, National Geographic reported.
Some researchers have even directly blamed the use of submersibles for causing damage to the ship by bumping into the Titanic during dives and landing on unstable areas of the ship during expeditions.
Blue Marble Private said that during its voyages to Titanic's grave site, divers will get to explore the wreckage in a “specially-designed” submersible made with titanium and carbon fiber. Passengers may be able to view the ship’s main deck and grand staircase, Marble Private said in a statement Tuesday.
The dives will cost about $105,100 a person. They will mark the first time the public has been able to view the Titanic since 2005, following Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage’s efforts to safeguard the wreckage. In 2010, Titanic’s resting site became protected by UNESCO, preventing divers from conducting expeditions that were considered unscientific or unethical.