For the first time in the short history between the sinking of the luxury ocean liner Titanic and now, the wreck site has been completely mapped out using sonar imaging. This feat was accomplished with a series of underwater robots sent to document the wreck starting back in 2010, and the results will be seen by the whole world soon thanks to the History Channel. A documentary is currently in the works surrounding the new findings and renewed sense of understanding this project offers and will be released mid-April.
The robots sent to the icy depths around two full years ago took more than 100,000 photos of the site. These photos were then stitched together by an expedition team with sonar imaging, this map then constructed into the most detail-oriented amalgamation of the ship yet produced. One example of a finding made by this particular project already is the idea that the entire stern of the ship rotated several times on its way down to the bottom of the sea rather than shooting straight down – this type of detail not accurately hypothesized before this series of events.
As Parks Stephenson, a Titanic historian, told the AP this week:
“With the sonar map, it’s like suddenly the entire room lit up and you can go from room to room with a magnifying glass and document it. Nothing like this has ever been done for the Titanic site.” – Stephenson
UPDATE: as helpful commenter “indolent83” notes, the 15th of April is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic – hence the date of the documentary.
The documentary sharing the details of the findings made between when the ship was re-constructed using this process and now will be shown off in a History Channel special on the 15th of April, 2012. As History Channel’s Dirk Hoogstra noted to the AP, this show will display “groundbreaking, jaw-dropping stuff.” Can’t wait to see it!