Science

Mysterious ‘large object’ discovered near Titanic wreck finally identified

Mysterious ‘large object’ discovered near Titanic wreck finally identified

An unexpected sonar “blip” was first discovered in 1998 near a shipwreck Titanic he was finally identified.

“We didn’t know what we were going to discover,” veteran researcher PH Nargeolet, who first spotted the flash, said in a press release. “On sonar, this could have been anything, including the potential to be another shipwreck. I was looking for an opportunity to investigate this large object that appeared on sonar so long ago.”

OceanGate Expeditions has been sending submersible crews to document the condition of the Titanic for decades. During one of this year’s trips, a team that included Nargeolet checked out an anomaly near the legendary wreck.

As the video above shows, it wasn’t just another shipwreck. Instead, the team discovered an unexpected volcanic formation at a depth of 2,900 meters (9,514 feet) that Nargeolet said was “buzzing with so much life.”

OceanGate calls it the Nargeolet-Fanning Ridge, named after veteran diver and mission specialist Oisín Fanning.

Detail from Nargeolet-Fanning Reef, near the wreck of the Titanic.
Detail from Nargeolet-Fanning Reef, near the wreck of the Titanic.

“We are amazed at the diversity and density of sponges, bamboo corals, other cold water corals, squat lobsters and fish that thrive at 2,900 meters deep in the North Atlantic Ocean,” OceanGate Expeditions Chief Scientist Dr. Steve W. Ross said in a press release.

Ross, who is also a research professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington Marine Science Center, added: “The discovery of this previously unknown ecosystem also provides an opportunity to make comparisons with the marine biology on and around the Titanic.”

The life found on this natural reef may be different from what now thrives on the nearby artificial reef that the Titanic became.

Detail from Nargeolet-Fanning Reef, near the wreck of the Titanic.
Detail from Nargeolet-Fanning Reef, near the wreck of the Titanic.

Earlier this year, OceanGate announced the first 8K recording from the Titanic, showing that the wreck is deteriorating.

In addition to bringing scientists to the deep, OceanGate offers places on its expeditions to active adventure travelers. “Mission Specialist” seats for next year’s Titanic voyages start at $250,000.

Detail from Nargeolet-Fanning Reef, near the wreck of the Titanic.
Detail from Nargeolet-Fanning Reef, near the wreck of the Titanic.





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