Parts of the Titanic that have remained intact for 100 years are decaying quickly, the latest dive has found. The starboard side of the officers' quarters is showing the most deterioration, the BBC reports. "The captain's bathtub is a favorite image among Titanic enthusiasts—and that's now gone," said a historian who was part of the expedition. "That whole deck house on that side is collapsing, taking with it the state rooms." Early this month, an international team of deep-sea explorers made five manned submersible dives to survey the ship, marking the first dives to the Titanic's resting spot in nearly 15 years. They found metal-eating bacteria, salt corrosion, and deep ocean currents taking their toll. The Titanic's bow is covered with rusticles, which form like icicles as bacteria destroy the metal. The deterioration will only continue. "It’s a natural process," said a scientist who participated, per the Guardian.
The expedition crew used special cameras that will, along with virtual reality technology, produce 3D images of the wreck in an upcoming documentary. Parts of the ship are holding up fairly well, divers said. The Titanic has been at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, about 370 miles off the Newfoundland coast, since it hit an iceberg in 1912 on its initial voyage. More than 1,500 people were killed, and the team held a ceremony and laid a wreath in their honor during the expedition. With no survivors still living, one expert said, "the wreck itself is the only witness we've now got of the Titanic disaster," adding, "It's important to use the wreck whilst the wreck still has something to say." (Read more Titanic stories.)