A sick and crazy idea


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Jeffrey Beaudry

Guest
I am one to come up with entirely strange ideas and theories, and here is one of them:
Suppose it was possible to build a large dome (maybe lead) that could entirely separate the Titanic and the water around it (think of a giant space suit). Then, we shoot low radiation at the ship and the water inside this dome. If the right amount of radiation was used, the bacteria that is eating away at the metal would be killed off, and the decay would be stopped. Admittedly, the site would be unvisitable for some time, but also it wouldn't be decaying. After several years, when the radiation has subsided, we could then revisit the site as long as we want.

Admittedly, this idea sounds like it would be better off in a Michael Crichton novel than the real world, but I have a habit of making crazy ideas like this.
 
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Jeffrey Beaudry

Guest
Sorry, I forgot to add this in the previous post.
Even if this idea is farfetched (and expensive!), the idea of radiation instead of trying to move it will allow the forensic details to remain where they are, allowing study for a longer period of time than we have now.
 
May 7, 2005
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One might look at Titanic as the greatest nuclear accident the world has ever seen since Chernobyl. Than all the eco-scientists would have some really wierd fish to sketch. Seriously though, it might be an educated plan Jeffrey, but there are too many things that can go on that would be tragic.
 
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Jeffrey Beaudry

Guest
One can only see that I get too many of my ideas (most *thankfully* not posted on this site) from Michael Crichton. All we need are those dinosaurs running around down there, while nanoparticle-swarms chew on the ROVs.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Admittedly, the site would be unvisitable for some time, but also it wouldn't be decaying.<<

Don't be so sure. Even in the absence of the bacteria, there's still the salt water which in and of itself would still do quite a bit of damage. As to the site being unvisitable, it doesn't always quite work out that way. High energy gamma irradiation is used as a method of killing bacteria in long term food preservation, and it doesn't render the food radioactive.

Even if this were a problem to be reckoned with, you would be amazed at the sort of life forms that can survive high doses of radiation that would kill a human being. Cockroaches for example.
 

Kyrila Scully

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Apr 15, 2001
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In Florida - where even the most pristine homes cannot keep out the giant, flying cockroaches called Palmetto bugs - they've definitely been known to survive microwave ovens.

Kyrila
 
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Jeffrey Beaudry

Guest
But is the bacteria that is eating the Titanic as strong as those cockroaches?
And anyway, even if the salt water is still deteriorating the ship, it will still last a little longer, whether it be a few years or a hundred.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>But is the bacteria that is eating the Titanic as strong as those cockroaches?<<

I don't know. You may want to check with a biologist for some really authoratative information on that. I am aware of the fact that some strains of bacteria can be extremely tough. Some can survive in a dorment state for thousands of years only to become active again when water is introduced to the spoors. Also, some types are known to be able to survive being inside the pressure vessel and closed loop side of a nuclear reactor.

Irradiating the Titanic's wrecksite...assuming you could get the bulky equipment needed to do it...may well kill everything there, but it wouldn't be long where fresh colonies of bacteria would invade.
 
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Jeffrey Beaudry

Guest
True, true.
But then again, every plan made in a Michael Crichton book seems to go wrong too... (pondering quietly)
 
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Jeffrey Beaudry

Guest
And a small question to add: at what temperature does salt water freeze? (I think you can see my next idea...)
 
Dec 8, 2000
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Oh dear, I've had sudden visions of a plague of giant cockroaches swarming over Titanic's deck...
quote:

Admittedly, this idea sounds like it would be better off in a Michael Crichton novel...
More like Arthur C Clarke.
quote:

And a small question to add: at what temperature does salt water freeze? (I think you can see my next idea...)
Usually at -1.8C, but this does vary depending on the degree of salinity. (See the Physical and Chemical Characteristics of Seawater for more info.)

Yes, definitely Arthur C Clarke! ;)
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>But then again, every plan made in a Michael Crichton book seems to go wrong too<<

Mmmmmmm...I wouldn't take everything in Michael Chricton's work as utterly reliable science *if* some of his critics are to be believed. Still, in fairness, he's a fairly engaging writer and well versed in biology. (As a physician by education, he better be!) He may come across as a bit paranoid at times...in my opinion of course...but I still enjoy his novels.
wink.gif
 
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Jeffrey Beaudry

Guest
But hypothetically, if the plan was possible, there was enough money, and the bacteria could be destroyed, would anyone agree with the plan?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>would anyone agree with the plan?<<

I doubt it.

For one thing, none of the above applies. For another, there would have to be substantial reason to justify the investment if it did. People who specialize in salvage don't do their work for altruistic reasons, nor can they afford the luxury of doing so. Salvors frequently operate on the razor's edge of profitability and having to file for Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. They expect a return on the investment and this would be a non-starter in that regard.
 

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