Background Info

When Robert Ballard and his team discovered the Titanic in 1985, they chose not to remove anything from the wreckage. According to the laws of the sea, removing anything would have meant that Ballard and his team were the owners of the site. Two years later, a private company returned to the site of the wreck and claimed it as their own by removing artifacts.

Evidence is mounting that the Titanic is under seige by natural forces, careless visitors and rogue salvage operators. Robert Ballard, along with families of Titanic victims and survivors, is on a mission to ensure that the Titanic will survive for another 100 years.

For Further Exploration

Vocabulary

Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry

archaeology

Noun

study of human history, based on material remains.

Encyclopedic Entry: archaeology

artifact

Noun

material remains of a culture, such as tools, clothing, or food.

bacteria

Plural Noun

(singular: bacterium) single-celled organisms found in every ecosystem on Earth.

field work

Noun

scientific studies done outside of a lab, classroom, or office.

Encyclopedic Entry: field work

ocean

Noun

large body of salt water that covers most of the Earth.

Encyclopedic Entry: ocean

oceanography

Noun

study of the ocean.

Encyclopedic Entry: oceanography

preservation

Noun

protection from use.

rust

Verb

to dissolve and form a brittle coating, as iron does when exposed to air and moisture.

scavenge

Verb

to feed on dead or decaying material.

Titanic

Noun

luxury cruise ship that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1912.

Credits

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Writer

Pam Bolan

Editor

Christina Riska, National Geographic Society
Caryl-Sue, National Geographic Society
Kara West

Producer

Samantha Zuhlke, National Geographic Society

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