8K footage of Titanic shows new details that could help identify the ship's rate of decay
For the first time, footage of the Titanic in 8K has been released, allowing viewers to peer at the iconic shipwreck front and center.
OceanGate Expeditions, a Washington-based, deep-sea exploration company, posted the one-minute clip last week.
A camera pans over the ship as Sebastian Pangal's "The Grand Chopin Nocturne" plays hauntingly in the background. Also noticeable are the Titanic’s famous bow, as well as a portside anchor and a large anchor chain made up of links that weigh 200 pounds each.
The footage was captured during OceanGate Expeditions' 2022 Titanic Expedition, where dive experts, Titanic historians and research scientists explore the wreck and analyze the images and data alongside members of the public who apply and reserve spots to join.
OceanGate Expeditions said in a news release that the "unprecedented 8K footage" allows viewers to see never-before-seen details.
What you need to know: When did the Titanic sink? How many people survived? What to know about the famous wreck.
“In comparing footage and images from 2021, we do see slight changes in certain areas of the wreck," said Stockton Rush, president of OceanGate Expeditions, in the release. "Our science team will be reviewing the 8K, 4K, and other footage captured during the 2022 Titanic Expedition for any changes. Having experts aboard the Titan submersible when we dive allows them to assess the shipwreck through direct observation, guide our exploration of different features of the wreck, and continue their study using the imagery."
8K video is extremely high resolution – it's made up of 33 million pixels instead of the standard 8 million.
One Titanic expert, Rory Golden, who has accompanied the group during its Titanic explorations pointed out details such as the name of the anchor maker, Noah Hingley & Sons Ltd., on the ship's portside anchor.
"I’ve been studying the wreck for decades and have completed multiple dives, and I can't recall seeing any other image showing this level of detail," Golden said. "It is exciting that, after so many years, we may have discovered a new detail that wasn’t as obvious with previous generations of camera technologies."
The footage, the company said, contains evidence of decay. For example, some of the Titanic’s railing looks like it's collapsed and fallen away from the ship.
The company already has plans for its May 2023 expedition, and said aspiring mission specialists who want to join or support should reach out to them.
Saleen Martin is a reporter on USA TODAY's NOW team. She is from Norfolk, Virginia – the 757 – and loves all things horror, witches, Christmas, and food. Follow her on Twitter at @Saleen_Martin or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.