For 73 years after the night it sank, the Titanic sat at the bottom of the ocean. Many researchers and explorers tried to find it, but only one would be successful: His name is Dr. Robert Ballard, and he is responsible for finding the ship's final resting place.
As tragic as the story is, the tale of how Ballard and his team found the ship is absolutely fascinating — and now that they have, it's brought up some differing opinions about what to do next. See the images from Ballard's discovery under the sea below.
Dr. Robert Ballard led the team that found the Titanic.
He proposed using a live feed from 20,000 feet below the surface to see the shipwreck. He used an unmanned camera sled to do so.
Roy Chapman Andrews Society
He got funding for this project from the Navy.
The Navy wasn’t super into the whole Titanic plan, but they did have plans for the camera sled.
They wanted to use it to find two lost nuclear submarines.
The Navy decided to strike a deal with Ballard: If he could find and map the subs, they’d let him use the time he had left over to search for the Titanic.
U.S. Navy Photograph/NHHC collection
Ballard only had 12 days to find the famous ship.
He partnered with a French research institute. The French ship used a “mowing the lawn” technique in hopes that the sonar would pic something up.
But Ballard had learned a new technique when he found the subs.
He noticed the current carried small pieces of debris from the wrecks, leaving a kind of “bread crumb” trail .