The mystery of the sonar explosion near the Titanic was revealed after 26 years

The mystery of the sonar explosion near the Titanic was revealed after 26 years
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The wreck of the Titanic is split in two at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean, slowly decaying about 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) below the surface, but it’s not alone. A sonar strike discovered nearly 26 years ago has now revealed that there is much more to this underwater area than previously thought.

Veteran Nautile submarine pilot and Titanic diver PH Nargeolet first picked up the bump in the echo sounder in 1996, but its origin is unknown.

On an expedition to the Titanic wreck earlier this year, Nargeolet and four other researchers went to the blip’s previously recorded location in search of the mysterious object it represented. Due to the size of the impact, Nargeolet believed he was looking for another shipwreck—instead, he found a rocky reef composed of various volcanic formations and thriving with lobsters, deep-sea fish, sponges, and several species of coral that could number in the thousands. at the age of

“It’s biologically interesting. The animals that live there are very different from the animals that live in the bottomless ocean,” said Murray Roberts, a professor of applied marine biology and ecology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and one of the researchers of the expedition. “(Nargeolet) did really important scientific work. I thought it was a shipwreck, and in my opinion, it turned out to be more amazing than a shipwreck.”

The abyssal plain, according to Roberts, is a term used to describe the 3,000-4,000 meters (about 12,000 feet) of water below the ocean floor, which makes up 60% of the Earth’s surface. It is thought to be a featureless, muddy seafloor without much structure. Several times divers have observed rocky formations in the plain. After the recent discovery near the Titanic, Roberts now believes there may be more such features than previously thought.

Rocky areas can also help explain the distances sponges and corals travel across the ocean floor, which has always been a mystery to scientists. In the muddy environment where they are usually found, these species have few hard surfaces to cling to in order to grow and reproduce.

“Sometimes they are in places where we wonder how they got there?” They don’t live long enough to get there,” Roberts said. “But if these rocky places, these steps, are more common than we think, I think it could help us understand the distribution of these species across the ocean.”

The researchers are currently working on analyzing images and videos taken from the reef during the dive and intend to share their findings to improve the scientific community’s collective knowledge of deep sea life. Roberts also hopes to link this discovery to the broader Atlantic Ocean ecosystem project he leads. iAtlantic, This will allow for further study and protection of the fragile ecosystem within the reef.

There is another sonar blip near the Titanic that Nargeolet hopes to identify on a future expedition. This was recorded in the same survey he did years ago, between the Titanic wreck and the newly discovered reef – now the Nargeolet-Fanning ridge, named after him and Oisín Fanning, mission specialist for the 2022 expedition. Nargeolet expects everything to be bigger than this cliff.

OceanGate Expeditions and their foundation — which, along with Fanning, funded Nargeolet’s dive this year — will continue a longitudinal study of the Titanic and surrounding areas in 2023.

“The marine life was… very beautiful. It was really incredible because I never expected to see this in my life,” said Nargeolet. “I’ll be more than happy to continue watching Titanic.”

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