Background Info

On July 18, 1986, new video footage of the sunken ocean liner RMS Titanic was released to the public. These videos were taken on the first manned expedition to the shipwreck site, discovered less than a year earlier. The footage offered astonishing views of the luxurious features Titanic was known for, including grand staircases and glittering chandeliers.

A year after discovering Titanic, National Geographic Explorer in Residence Robert Ballard returned to the wreck with the submarine craft Alvin. Ballard and several others traveled more than 3 kilometers (2 miles) under the surface of the ocean to explore the site. Alvin’s crew saw a remarkably intact ship: the boiler room, the remains of a wood-burning stove, unopened Champagne bottles, and the ship’s safe, which was left unopened and undisturbed.

Vocabulary

Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry

astonish

Verb

to greatly surprise.

chandelier

Noun

large, complex lighting fixture that usually hangs from a ceiling.

discover

Verb

to learn or understand something for the first time.

expedition

Noun

journey with a specific purpose, such as exploration.

Explorer-in-Residence

Noun

pre-eminent explorers and scientists collaborating with the National Geographic Society to make groundbreaking discoveries that generate critical scientific information, conservation-related initiatives and compelling stories.

footage

Noun

moving images recorded by video or motion picture cameras.

luxurious

Adjective

rich or self-indulgent.

shipwreck

Noun

remains of a sunken marine vessel.

submarine

Noun

vehicle that can travel underwater.

Titanic

Noun

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

Credits

Media Credits

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Editor

Caryl-Sue, National Geographic Society

Producer

Mary Crooks, National Geographic Society

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