The 96-second teaser for the footage, which was to be released in its entirety on Woods Hole’s YouTube channel, featured footage taken above the bow and inside the wreckage, to a soundtrack from atmospheric piano. The new footage from the rare and largely inaccessible video of more than 80 minutes comes from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US Massachusetts, which worked with French researchers to locate the remains of the ship.
The release is timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the release of the movie “Titanic” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, the director and screenwriter whose study of the Titanic remains James Cameron continues to fund, reports the Guardian. The ship sank with the loss of more than 1,500 lives in April 1912 after striking an iceberg in one of history’s deadliest and largest maritime disasters.
Woods Hole oceanographer Robert Ballard and French explorer Jean-Louis Michel discovered large pieces of debris in 1985 nearly four kilometers below the surface of the Atlantic, about 650 kilometers from Newfoundland. The following year, Ballard led the expedition, recording video inside the ship using the Alvin deep-sea submersible and a smaller, more maneuverable remote camera called Jason Jr., which could pass through narrow openings. “More than a century after the sinking of the Titanic, the human stories embodied by the great ship continue to resonate,” director Cameron said in a statement. “By releasing these images, the institute is helping to tell an important part of a story that spans generations and the world.” The video says the footage “represents some of the remarkable immersive accomplishments” of the team led by Ballard. Subsequent visits to the depths revealed signs of decay from the wreckage of the Titanic, which when flooded broke into two large pieces.
A series of dives in 2019 by Eyos Expeditions, led by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa), was the first in 14 years and showed the wreck was “severely affected by powerful ocean currents and ever-changing metal-eating and natural salt corrosion.” According to Rob McCallum, Eyos founder and expedition leader, the wreck remains “one of the most iconic and exclusive places on the planet.”
Largely fictionalized, Cameron’s 1997 film is one of only three films in history to win 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. The Canadian filmmaker is also the author of the acclaimed 2003 documentary Ghosts of the Abyss, which captured some of the most stunning footage ever taken of the Titanic during the expedition two years earlier. Cameron financed the dive and was the co-pilot of a submersible built specifically for the expedition.
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