Deep-sea recovery group Magellan combed through hundreds of thousands of images to build the digital recreation of the doomed ship that revealed the necklace.
New scans of the Titanic shipwreck have uncovered fascinating details, including unopened bottles of champagne and pairs of sunken shoes. According to Magellan, the company behind the scan, these stunning new images have also detected a gold necklace with a megalodon tooth.
The necklace, Magellan CEO Richard Parkinson raved, is “astonishing, beautiful and breathtaking.” The necklace features the tooth of a megalodon — a fearsome prehistoric shark that lived 23 million years ago — making the find all the more spectacular.
Detecting it among the 700,000 new Titanic images, he added, was akin to finding a needle in a haystack. To ITV, Parkinson explained: “What is not widely understood is that the Titanic is in two parts and there’s a three-square-mile debris field between the bow and the stern. The team mapped the field in such detail that we could pick out those details.”
The necklace, of course, is evocative of the “Heart of the Ocean” necklace in James Cameron’s film Titanic (1997). But though that necklace was a fictional plot point, the megalodon necklace belonged to a real Titanic passenger — and Magellan is determined to track them down.
According to the Independent, Magellan is hoping to use A.I. to track down the necklace’s owner. The company plans to scan footage of passengers boarding the ship in April 1912 in order to document their facial features and clothing. If they’re able to identify the passenger with the necklace, they’ll next attempt to contact any of their living relatives.
The gold megalodon necklace itself, however, will remain at the bottom of the sea with the shipwreck, as a US-UK agreement prohibits the removal of Titanic artifacts by the public.
The RMS Titanic infamously hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912. Then the ship — touted as “unsinkable” — began to sink into the North Atlantic. Of the 2,240 passengers and crew onboard, just 706 survived. And the Titanic itself disappeared into the ocean depths.
It wasn’t seen again until 1985, when a team led by Robert Ballard discovered the shipwreck. For the first time, images of the Titanic‘s watery grave were seen by the public. But the recent scans produced by Magellan show the wreck in even more comprehensive detail.
“What we’ve created is a highly accurate photorealistic 3D model of the wreck,” 3D capture specialist Gerhard Seiffert told NPR. “Previously footage has only allowed you to see one small area of the wreck at a time. This model will allow people to zoom out and to look at the entire thing for the first time… This is the Titanic as no one had ever seen it before.”
The scans, called a “game changer,” by Titanic explorer and analyst Parks Stephenson, revealed incredible details like unopened champagne bottles, shoes, and, of course, the megalodon necklace.
“It is chilling when you see objects like a pair of shoes because there was once a body there,” a Titanic researcher named Mandy Le Boutillier told ITV. “It makes you think, everybody talks about how the Titanic was a wonderful ship of dreams, but ultimately it’s a grave.”
Haunting objects like the megalodon necklace are an eerie reminder of the tragedy that struck the Titanic back in April 1912. But historians are also hopeful that the scans will shed new light on the wreck and answer questions about why the luxury liner sank in the first place.
“We’re essentially getting to the end of the first generation of Titanic research and exploration, and we’re getting ready to transition into the next generation,” Stephenson explained to NPR. “And I think this [scanning] tool basically signals a shift from that generation to the next.”
After reading about the gold megalodon tooth necklace discovered among the Titanic debris using new scanning technology, look through these heartbreaking images of other Titanic artifacts that have been found over the years. Or, delve into some of the Titanic survivors’ harrowing accounts of the ship’s sinking.