Titanic: Before and After
The R.M.S. Titanic has gone down as one of the most famous ships in history for its lavish design and tragic fate. It was a massive 46,000-ton ship, measuring 882 feet long and 175 feet high. The "Ship of Dreams" included a swimming pool, gym, Turkish baths, a photography darkroom and three cigar rooms. However, its lack of proper safety features would become a critical flaw on the night of the Titanic's doom.
The lifeboats set in place for emergencies were only equipped to hold a total of up to 1,178 people, while the ship itself was capable of holding 2,435 passengers and roughly 900 crew members. In the late hours of April 14, 1912, just four days after setting sail, the "unsinkable" Titanic struck an iceberg. The collision tore a gash in the side of the ship and it sank to the bottom of the ocean, claiming the lives of about 1,500 people.
It wasn't until September 1, 1985 that the wreck would be discovered about 2 miles below the surface of the North Atlantic. Lead by Robert D. Ballard, the joint U.S-French Expedition used experimental naval technology to find the Titanic 400 miles east of Newfoundland with many pieces still in tact, such as remnants of the propellers, deck and dining areas.
WATCH: History's Greatest Mysteries premieres Saturday, November 14 at 9/8c on HISTORY. See a preview now.
Now, bacteria in the ocean depths are eating away at the wreck and threaten to erase the remains of one of history's most iconic ships. A series of dives in the summer of 2019 by an international team of deep-sea explorers revealed that significant artifacts and parts of the wreck have been lost to the ocean.
"The captain's bathtub is a favorite image among Titanic enthusiasts—and that's now gone," Titanic historian Parks Stephenson told the BBC.
"That whole deck house on that side is collapsing, taking with it the state rooms. And that deterioration is going to continue advancing."
Want more HISTORY? Check out these stories: