Photos of the Titanic Wreck When It Was First Discovered in 1985

The Titanic sank in 191, yet it took decades before the wreckage was discovered. It wasn’t until Sept. 1, 1985 that scientists, after years and years of searching, found what they were looking for.

Two of Titanic’s engines lie exposed in a gaping cross section of the stern. Draped in “rusticles”—orange stalactites created by iron-eating bacteria—these massive structures, four stories tall, once powered the largest moving man-made object on Earth.
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A view of the bow of the RMS Titanic.
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A view of the bow and railing of the RMS Titanic.
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A view of the bow of the Titanic from a camera mounted on the outside of the Mir I submersible.
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A view of the steering motor on the bridge of the Titanic.
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A view of the bathtub in Capt. Smiths bathroom. Rusticles are observed growing over most of the pipes and fixtures in the room.

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With her rudder cleaving the sand and two propeller blades peeking from the murk, Titanic’s mangled stern rests on the abyssal plain, 1,970 feet south of the more photographed bow. This optical mosaic combines 300 high-resolution images taken on a 2010 expedition.
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Detached rusticles below port side anchor indicating that the rusticles pass through a cycle of growth, maturation and then fall away. This particular “crop” probably was in a five to ten year cycle.
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Rusticle hanging from the stern section of the RMS Titanic showing secondary growths during maturation.
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Rusticles growing down from the stern section of Titanic.
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China dishes are part of the debris left from the wreck of the Titanic, as she lies on the Atlantic Ocean floor south of Newfoundland.

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The prow of the HMS Titanic.
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A pair of shoes, lying in close proximity, are, while the visible remains of the victim have disappeared, suggestive evidence of where a victim of the Titanic disaster came to rest.
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This photo provided by the Institute for Exploration, Center for Archaeological Oceanography/University of Rhode Island/NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration

The remains of a coat and boots, articulated in the mud on the sea bed near Titanic’s stern, are suggestive evidence of where a victim of the disaster came to rest.
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Institute for Exploration, Center for Archaeological Oceanography/University of Rhode Island/NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration

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