A video of a Coca-Cola being instantly crushed by water pressure gives an idea of what likely happened to the destroyed Titan sub that claimed five lives.
The pressure chamber aboard OceanGate’s 22-ft vessel suffered a “catastrophic implosion,” authorities revealed Thursday, and the men on board tragically perished.
The implosion is believed to have been caused by a sudden change from low to high pressure in the submarine, possibly caused by a defect in the submarine’s walls.
Experts say the crew and passengers would have been crushed in a fraction of a millisecond, an event that would be over before they even realized what was happening and so violent that it is unlikely to leave any human remains behind.
a video posted by James Hambley, a YouTuber known by the alias Barded Science Guy, demonstrates a similar process using a Coke can.
A video posted by James Hambley, a YouTuber known by the alias Barded Science Guy, shows a similar process taking place with a Coke can
The can is dramatically crushed due to changes in atmospheric pressure, caused by the sudden condensation of water vapor into liquid water in the can.
“By filling the can with steam and then exposing that steam to cold water, it condenses back into water, leaving no gas particles on the inside of the can to exert pressure outward,” Hambley said.
‘However, there are still many particles in the air around the can that exert an inward force that then shatters the can.’
In the depths of the deep ocean, the pressure increases to such an extent that only specially adapted organisms can survive.
The crew was more than 2 miles below the ocean’s surface, which would have generated more than 5,500 pounds per square inch (PSI) of pressure, more than the pressure exerted by the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
A ‘catastrophic implosion’ is a violent or dramatic implosion event – and the opposite of an explosion due to pressure changes.
In the case of Titan, the sudden change from relatively low pressure in the submarine to incredibly high pressure caused the sudden and catastrophic implosion and structural crushing.
In general, if the pressure inside an object is lower than the pressure outside, the object will implode – unless the area of lower pressure is adequately protected, for example by strong metal reinforcements.
One of the last photos of the OceanGate Expeditions Titan submarine before it began its fateful descent to the Titanic wreckage
It is thought that Titan suddenly lost this protection, possibly due to a defect in its structure that suddenly magnified, perhaps caused by a collision with another underwater object.
“It probably would have been faster and even more extreme than the can in the video,” Hambley said.
“The pressure outside the submarine pushing in was about 400 times the pressure inside the submarine pushing out.
“With the can in the video, it’s probably about 5-10 times the pressure pushing in than out.”
The Titan submarine, operated by the American company OceanGate, began its dive to Titanic on Sunday morning, but all contact with the mothership was lost shortly afterwards.
The U.S. Coast Guard announced the devastating news Thursday that robotic search engines had found a “debris field” near the Titanic wreck in the Atlantic Ocean.
This debris — including Titan’s tail, nose cone and inner pressure hull — was found about 1,600 feet (500 meters) from the bow of the famed Titanic.
Aboard the ship was OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, 61; French Navy veteran Paul-Henri (PH) Nargeolet, 77; British billionaire Hamish Harding, 58; Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, 41; and his son Suleman, who was just 19.
French Navy veteran PH Nargeolet (left) sat in the submarine with Stockton Rush (right), CEO of the OceanGate Expedition
Five people were on board, including British billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding and Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, who was just 19
TITAN SUBMERSIBLE SPECIFICATIONS
Maximum depth: 13,123 feet (4,000 m)
Capacity: Five people (one pilot and four crew members)
Pressure vessel material: Carbon fiber and titanium
Overall dimensions: 22ft x 9.2ft x 8.3ft high (670cm x 280cm x 250cm)
Weight: 23,000 lb (10,432 kg)
Speed: 3 knots
Life Support: 96 hours for five crew members
Tickets for the expedition cost up to $250,000 (£195,000) per person.
Authorities concluded that the implosion had occurred due to the small size of the fragments, detected by the underwater robotic equipment.
“The debris field of multiple small parts shows the catastrophic and rapid failure of the submarine which imploded extremely quickly,” said Dr Jasper Graham-Jones, Associate Professor of Mechanical & Marine Engineering at the University of Plymouth.
At this time, the cause of the catastrophic implosion is unclear, although it could have been caused by a defect in the submarine that built up over time.
Underwater robots will remain at the site of the debris field in an attempt to gather more information that could reveal the cause.
“This craft took 25 runs to the Titanic and back to the surface,” said Dr Graham-Jones. “Each return flight caused cracks in the pressure bulkheads.
“This may be small and undetectable at first, but soon becomes critical and produces rapid and uncontrollable growth.
The U.S. Coast Guard announced the devastating news Thursday that robotic search engines had found a “debris field” near the Titanic wreckage.
An aerial photo from the US Coast Guard of the search for the missing Titan at the Titanic wreck. The submarine immediately imploded, killing all five crew members, experts say
As for what’s happening Dr. Dale Molé, former director of submarine medicine and radiation health for the US Navy, said the deaths would have been quick and painless.
The five men would have died almost instantly due to the extraordinary forces exerted by the ocean at depth, which is under enormous pressure.
“It would have been so sudden that they didn’t even know there was a problem or what had happened to them,” Molé said.
“It’s like you’re here for a minute, and then the switch turns off. One millisecond you’re alive and the next millisecond you’re dead.’
James Cameron blows up hunt for Titan as ‘prolonged nightmarish charade’
Titanic director James Cameron said he predicted Titan’s implosion days before the debris of the missing submarine was found, calling the search a “prolonged nightmarish charade.”
Mr Cameron, also an underwater expert who has visited the world’s most famous seawreck 30 times, said the new tragedy has parallels to the 1912 disaster.
The five on the Titan died instantly when the submarine suffered a “catastrophic implosion” just 1,600 feet from the bow of the wrecked ocean liner, the U.S. Coast Guard announced yesterday.
A Canadian ship’s remote-controlled submarine found debris on the ocean floor.
Mr Cameron told BBC News the search ‘felt like a lengthy and nightmarish charade with people running around and talking about popping noises and talking about oxygen and all that other stuff’.
“I knew that submarine was exactly below its last known depth and position. That’s exactly where they found it,’ he said.