Scientists showed some never-before-seen images of the Titanic in a Virginia courtroom Thursday, unveiling dramatic three-dimensional views of the rusting hulk and the ghostly images of the sea floor where the ship sank almost a century ago, on April 12, 1912, about 400 miles off Newfoundland, Canada. The images taken from a remote-controlled submersible vehicle were shown to a judge amid an ongoing salvage claim involving the world's most famous shipwreck. Scientists said the entire North Atlantic debris field has now been documented for the first time, and the images are the most extensive and of the highest quality ever taken of the Titanic.
The new images will ultimately be assembled for public viewing, scientists said, and to help oceanographers and archaeologists explain the ship's violent descent to the ocean bottom. The most striking images involved the 3-D tour of the Titanic's stern: A camera in a remote-controlled submersible vehicle seemingly transported viewers through scenes of jagged ‘rusticles’ sprouting from deck, a length of chain, and the captain's bathtub. The scientists said previous sonar and optical images were random and akin to snapshots, while this recent expedition strived to record and map every inch of the 3-by-5-mile wreck site.