The ship once thought to be unsinkable and made for an infinite existence not only sank but is also being dissolved. It is losing hundreds of pounds of iron each day thanks to metal-eating bacteria and deep-sea currents. As a result, the Titanic is disappearing from the bottom of the ocean.
A company known as OceanGate Expeditions is starting a project to visit the Titanic wreckage annually to monitor and chronicle the ship’s deterioration. It has been 109 years since the ship sank. Since researchers discovered it in 1985, the mast is gone, and the ship’s railing is about to collapse. The captain’s bathtub has dissolved, and the crow’s nest from which the lookout shouted, “Iceberg, straight ahead!” is gone.
What most of us don’t realize is that there are bacteria in the ocean that consume iron. The wreck of the Titanic is disappearing more and more each day. Researchers are interested in recording this process to understand how other shipwrecks, such as nuclear submarines, are broken down. Wealthy tourists are funding the Titanic research, but scientists are interested in underwater ecosystems spawned by shipwrecks like the Titanic.
As the Titanic is disappearing, it reminds us of the insignificance of human artifacts. Therefore, we should not place our hope in man-made things. Ships, buildings, and monuments will all eventually be reduced to dust. This design of Earth allows the recycling of resources. It also underlines the importance of putting your trust in “treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matthew 6:20).
— John N. Clayton © 2021
Data from AP release by Ben Finley in The Herald Bulletin, July 3, 2021.