An underwater tourism company has emerged with new footage of the wreckage of the RMS Titanic, and it's jaw-dropping in its clarity—the highest-quality recording of the ship since it sank during its 1912 maiden voyage. The haunting one-minute clip released to the public by OceanGate Expeditions, which has already ventured twice 2.4 miles deep with paying customers to see the Titanic, is the world's only 8K video of the remains of the passenger liner, submerged about 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. Per CNN, that means the footage boasts a horizontal resolution of 8,000 pixels—"twice as clear as a 4K TV," offering an "unprecedented level of detail and color." The video shows off the "amazing detail" that Stockton Rush, OceanGate's founder, says in a release will help scientists better examine the ship's rate of decay, brought about by sea pressure and the salt in the water.
Some estimate the ship could be completely lost to the sea in just decades due to this decomposition. The recordings will also assist researchers in learning more about the sea creatures that dwell there. But it's the newly revealed intricacies of the ship that especially have researchers' interest piqued. "I had never seen the name of the anchor maker, Noah Hingley & Sons Ltd.," before, Titanic expert Rory Golden marvels in the release, per Science Alert. The New York Times makes an even deeper dive into the arena of deep-sea tourism coming into play via OceanGate's expeditions, which has brought tourists in submersibles to the scene of the shipwreck for $250,000 each—a "fraction of the cost of going to space," Rush points out.
The Times notes not everyone is thrilled with such shipwreck-gawking journeys, citing ethical concerns by those who point out more than 1,500 people died during the Titanic's sinking—making the site a graveyard—as well as objections by historians and scientists who don't want artifacts pulled up to the surface. Still, even the naysayers are impressed with the new footage. "It's just amazing to see with such clarity," Don Lynch of the Titanic Historical Society says. If you're interested in OceanGate's 2023 expedition, there's an application online. Interested parties must be 18, have a valid passport, and "be comfortable in dynamic environments where plans and timetables may change." Oh, and have that $250,000 "mission specialist training and support fee" available for the 10-day mission, which includes an eight-hour dive. (Read more Titanic stories.)