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Bacteria Devours Titanic’s Wreckage in Deep Waters | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The port bow railing of the Titanic lies in 12,600 feet of
water about 400 miles east of Nova Scotia. Photo: Reuters

Bremerhaven, London- A century ago, 3,800 meters below the surface, bacteria began devouring wreckage of the Titanic that lies in the Atlantic Ocean’s waters.

Researchers expect the Titanic to disappear within 15 or 20 years. Antje Boetius, marine biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, north Germany said the ship’s wreckage is concentrated with accumulated biofilms and rust.

A few years ago, a group of scientists collected samples of rust from the ship, and discovered a type of bacteria they called “Halomonas titanicae” which causes the wreckage’s corrosion. Boetius said this bacteria makes the wreckage unstable, which will lead to the ship’s collapse sooner or later.

The Titanic sank in the night of April 14-15, 1912, four days after it embarked from Southampton in England to New York. The ship had on board over 2,224 passengers when it hit an iceberg at 23:40 pm. About 1,500 people died in this accident, making it one of the deadliest commercial peacetime maritime disasters in modern history.

On April 14, the Titanic received six warnings about icebergs in the sea. However, it was sailing with its maximum speed, when its crew realized there was an iceberg, and the ship failed in detouring to avoid hitting it. The starboard side of the ship struck the iceberg, and five out of 16 of its compartments were damaged.