Never-Before-Seen Footage of 'Titanic' Wreck Set to Be Unveiled

Never-before-seen footage of the Titanic shipwreck is set to be unveiled.

The non-profit marine science research organization Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is releasing the footage on February 15 at 7.30 p.m. ET in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Titanic movie release. It will be available to view on YouTube.

The RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, U.K., on April 10, 1912, heading for New York. However, on April 14, the ship hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean, almost 400 miles east from Newfoundland.

The passenger liner had only 20 lifeboats onboard. They could carry 1,178 people, only half the number of passengers on board. On April 15, the Titanic sank, killing more than 1,500 of the 2,224 who had set sail.

The wreck of the Titanic was discovered 73 years later in 1985 by United States Navy officer Robert Ballard. To this day, it still lies 13,000 feet below the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution used its imaging vehicle called Argo to reach the wreck, on its first deep-sea cruise.

Titanic shipwreck
A photo shows the front of the "Titanic" shipwreck. It lies thousands of feet under the North Atlantic Ocean, but footage of the wreck will be available on YouTube on February 15. RMS Titanic Team Expedition 2004, ROI, IFE, NOAA-OE

Once the wreck was rediscovered, it was analyzed by researchers using a camera system. This took the first photographs of the shipwreck that are still widely circulated to this day.

The organization then returned to the wreck in 1986, with new tools to explore it. The never-before-seen footage will be from that historic dive.

It is not yet clear exactly what is contained in the video airing on February 15, but the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said in a Facebook post that it would be "breathtaking."

The wreck of the Titanic continues to be an important vessel for scientists to research. Since it was rediscovered, researchers have sought to preserve what remains of the ship.

But this is proving difficult, as the wreck is gradually degrading. Although it lies deep beneath the surface of the ocean, there is a lot more life living there than scientists expected when the wreck was first found.

As a result, the Titanic is now covered in rusticles. This resemble icicles and contain communities of bacteria slowly eating away at the ship's debris.

Since the wreck was rediscovered, the mast has fallen down and the crow's nest has vanished.

Scientists believe that the majority of the wreck could be completely gone and eroded by 2030. This means time to document the shipwreck's ecosystem is running out, as are efforts to conserve it. In the case of the Titanic, many plants and animals that need a surface to cling to have attached themselves to the doomed ship.

In 2012, the shipwreck became a UNESCO historical site, to protect the ship better from any more damage.

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