The wreck of the ship was discovered in 1985 and since then it’s become a source of endless curiosity and a pop culture phenomenon thanks to James Cameron’s 1997 film.
Having sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic over a hundred years ago, taking with it over a thousand passengers, the RMS Titanic could soon vanish forever.
But over a century underwater has taken its toll on what remains of the wreckage, and scientists predict that in the coming two decades the remains of the ship will be eradicated by a species of bacteria which is steadily eating away its iron hull.
BBC Earth reports that scientists from Dalhousie University in Canada uncovered the bacteria after an initial team in 1991 collected samples of icicle-like formations of rust – “rusticles” – hanging from the ship.
Henrietta Mann, the scientist leading the identification of the bacteria, named the species after its famous victim, Halomonas titanicae.
Able to withstand the crushing pressures of the deep water, as well as the pitch black environment that has thus far preserved the ship from damage from other lifeforms, it will mean the Titanic will eventually disappear.
Discovering the famous wreck
It was oceanographer Robert Ballard, from the University of Rhode Island who discovered the wreck of the Titanic in 1985.
According to BBC Earth however, the discovery wasn’t made on purpose, instead it was down to Dr Ballard’s involvement in a secret US Navy mission to locate the wrecks of two US nuclear submarines sunk during the Cold War.
The Titanic was found between the two wrecks, and the rest is history.
At the time of its discovery the ship was very well preserved. Having sunk 3.8km below the surface, the lack of light and the intense pressures had made the ship inhospitable to most life (unlike other shipwrecks), slowing down the corrosion process.
Despite its infamy as one of the world’s most famous shipwrecks, soon it will be gone forever.
WATCH VIDEO BELOW