On September 1, 1985, a team led by oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Robert Ballard found the wreck of RMS Titanic in the North Atlantic Ocean, about 600 kilometers (370 miles) off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. From a ship on the surface, the crew watched the seafloor using a submersible, the Argo, equipped with a camera. Observers first noted odd craters and debris littering the seabed. Ballard was thrilled when one of the ship’s massive boilers was sighted, and finally the hull of Titanic itself came into view.
The Argo is a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). It allowed the team searching for Titanic to “look” at the seafloor from 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) above. The images Ballard and his crew collected allowed experts to reconstruct what had happened to Titanic, and determine how it had sunk—breaking into two large pieces as it drifted to the bottom of the ocean. The ship has been explored, photographed, and filmed several times since, but remains on the seafloor.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry coast Noun
edge of land along the sea or other large body of water.
Encyclopedic Entry: coast crater Noun
bowl-shaped depression formed by a volcanic eruption or impact of a meteorite.
Encyclopedic Entry: crater debris Noun
remains of something broken or destroyed; waste, or garbage.
to prepare or provide the right equipment.
pre-eminent explorers and scientists collaborating with the National Geographic Society to make groundbreaking discoveries that generate critical scientific information, conservation-related initiatives and compelling stories.
main body of a ship.
person who studies the ocean.
to build again or re-create from an original plan.
remotely operated vehicle.
small submarine used for research and exploration.
luxury cruise ship that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1912.