At 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912, RMS Titanic hit an iceberg off the coast of eastern Canada. Two hours and forty minutes later, the huge ship sank more than a mile down to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean. No one ever thought it would sink, especially on its first voyage! Sadly, the Titanic did not have enough life boats for everyone on board. More than 1500 passengers and crew died in this terrible disaster.
In the 1980’s, ocean explorers began searching for the Titanic’s remains, and in 1985, they found her. They first located a trail of wreckage, or debris, that looked like it came from a huge ship. They followed this trail until they found the Titanic, which was sitting upright on the bottom. Some explorers did not disturb the site and took only video of the wreck. Others removed more than 6,000 artifacts such as shoes, dishes, and bottles. Explorers saw pairs of shoes lying on the ocean floor in positions that suggest the shoes have not moved since the person wearing them landed on the bottom.
Some explorers are interested in the rusty “icicles” hanging from the wreck. They are called “rusticles.” These are not really icicles, but are groups of bacteria and fungi that eat the Titanic’s iron. Scientists estimate that all of the iron in Titanic’s bow section could be gone in about 300-400 years, with the ship being slowly recycled back to nature.