a diver below the surface of the ocean

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The virality of the Titanic sub incident is teaching everyone about the depth of the ocean

The missing submersible reminded everyone about the terrifying depth of the ocean.


Tiffany Kelly

Internet Culture

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The missing Titan submersible holding five people has captured the attention of the internet all week. It was set to embark on a tour of the Titanic wreckage 12,500 feet deep in the North Atlantic Ocean. But the submersible lost communication with its ship on the surface less than two hours into the planned journey. A search-and-rescue mission went on for days, and on Thursday afternoon, authorities announced that all five people are believed to be dead after debris was found on the ocean floor. 

Amid the search-and-rescue mission, people responded in a variety of different ways to the incident: shock, horror, and memes. There was also backlash to the memes, as many thought they were in poor taste. People also compared the attention of the missing submersible to that of a ship holding hundreds of migrants capsizing last week. The stepson of a missing billionaire aboard the vessel also took the opportunity to become the Main Character of the week and tell everyone about going to a blink-182 concert. 

But really, the missing submersible reminded everyone about the terrifying depth of the ocean. A viral animated video that shows just how far down the Titanic wreck sits compared to recognizable landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Mount Everest was recirculated this week. “Please watch and see how far down the Titanic is. I got anxiety just watching it,” one Twitter user commented. 

“*sees where Titanic is located; faints*,” another person wrote. 

A website made by Neal Agarwal was also shared on Twitter this week. It allows users to keep scrolling to grasp just how deep the ocean goes. It really puts deep sea exploration into perspective. The Titanic wreckage isn’t even sitting at the deepest known part of the ocean—that’s Challenger Deep, which is more than 35,000 feet below sea level. Again, Titanic sits at 12,500 feet. 

Why it matters

People regularly talk online about the chilling vastness of the ocean. But the submersible tragedy really made people look up the exact depth. And we’ll all going to be thinking about this for a long time. 

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