Question about the water pressure at Titanic wreck


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Andrew Parodi

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Apparently the pressure at the bottom of the Atlantic is very heavy, something like several tons per inch. . . .

Anyway, my question is: if that water pressure down there would kill a person, then why didn't it just destroy all the artifacts in Titanic, and why didn't it destroy Titanic itself?

And another question: I've seen pictures of fish that live way down at the bottom on the wreck. Now, since those fish can handle the pressure way down there, if we were to catch one of those fish and bring it up to the surface, would it instantly just fall apart due to the lower pressure?
 

Adam Leet

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May 18, 2001
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Simple: hydrostatic equilibrium. Since there are no air pockets in the wreck, there are no implodable volumes. Same thing with humans. The only things to implode on a person are the lungs and air cavities, and the inner ears. Gastrointestinal tracts might also be a problem, if gases are present. Otherwise, no, a person won't "implode".

Hope this helps (I think).


-Adam
 
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Andrew Parodi

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So, what about the bottles of things that have been recovered? Apparently, they didn't have air in them?

And what about the fish question?

So, if we didn't have lungs and things filled with air in us, then the pressure of the water down there wouldn't "squeeze" us until we die? (I always imagined that it would press on us until we become a thin layer of flesh.)
 
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Andrew Parodi

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Oh, by the way (I forgot so say): thanks for your reply!
 

Adam Leet

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Wine and champagne bottles that have been recovered had no separated gases, so it wasn't a problem. Any that did were imploded, and that's seen (some bottles have their corks pushed into the bottle).

As for fish, that generally depends on their physiology. As far as I can remember, the rattail fish, along with other fish species at the wreck site, don't have swim bladders, so there are no implodable volumes in their bodies.

Your last statement's correct. The notion that humans would be squished thin is an incorrect one.


-Adam
 
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Andrew Parodi

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Wow, no bladder. What a creepy fish!

Thanks for the answer, again. I'm learning some interesting things here. I guess when I heard that there was so much pressure down there, I thought it meant that it would literally be like someone pushing on you, like having a steam roller drive over you. So, it's the oxygen that makes the difference, eh?

See, I had wondered off and on why they didn't just send divers down there . . . then I learned about the pressure, and figured that - like I said - the pressure would crush divers. But it's not the pressure in itself, it's the pressure versus the oxygen in the lungs.

I remember hearing that this is why the bow is in better shape than the back end of the ship, because the bow went down (nose first) and let air out of it while it fell, whereas the back of the ship kept air in it and then imploded.
 
Jun 10, 1999
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Hello:

The pressure at TITANIC's depth is 6500 lbs. per sq. inch. Or look at it like this...the pressure on the deep-sea submersible NAUTILE for example, is equated to the full thrust of
NASA'S space shuttle at liftoff, to attain 17,000 m.p.h.! Or as Ralph White shared it...take a human body sandwhich it between two plates of steel, and drive over it with a locomotive (train). George Tulloch once told me, the pressure would severe human bone. Yann Houard (NAUTILE pilot) says..."If the sphere were too collapse...we would'nt feel anything...but we know this will never come about". (As he smiles)

My optimist view...THE TECHNOLOGY IS TRUSTED. Nautile took seven yrs. to design and develop. An as we speak she honors IFREMER in furthur study of the Japanese lakes, Mid-Atlantic Range, Pacific Ridge, etc.

As for the abundant deep-sea dweller...the "rattail"...as they are brought from their environment to ours, they do the opposite...they explode.. upon having had the tremendous pressure relieved (Yes, they even dwell at the bottom of the Mariana's Trench 36,000 ft. straight down. I also noticed one at the BISMARCK site, where a sub-pilot emarked the weight on the MIRS at the BISMARCK site is 150,000,000 lbs. total.

As for corks being pushed into the bottles...some were retrieved that blew the cork thru the bottom.

Have any of you heard the *actual recording* of the THRESHER exceeding her maximum depth design.
Picked up on instruments set in ocean perimeters to detect the Russian counterpart during the cold war. The welds fail...structural integrity is compromised.

Michael A. Cundiff
USA
(Ol' Man Winter socked us a good one!)
 
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Andrew Parodi

Guest
take a human body sandwhich it between two plates of steel, and drive over it with a locomotive (train).

Thanks for your reply.

It's quotes like the one above that make me wonder, still, why the ship wasn't somehow destroyed when it got toward the bottom. I suppose the truth of the matter is that that is just an analogy; in other words, the water down there is not literally two plates of steel. I guess there just really is no way to imagine what an area like that is like. Because, it's not like certain segments of the water are pressurized down there - it's the whole sea level that is pressurized.

So, if a human being were to end up down there outside of some sort of vessel, would they just be demolished? Would they be torn apart, or squished, or what?

Thanks again.
 
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Andrew Parodi

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> Thanks for the reply. You're right, some of the descriptions become pretty graphic!

I don't know how I would have dealt with it, obviously. But I think that I would have rather, A, shot myself, or, B, just jumped in the water.

I don't think I could have just sat there in the Titanic knowing I was going to die.
 

Tracy Smith

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Nov 5, 2000
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Andrew said:

I always imagined that it would press on us until we become a thin layer of flesh.

That's closer to the effect of getting sucked into a black hole, though the effects would be even more extreme and instantaneous if that were to happen, I would think.
 
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Brian Hawley

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Regarding champagne, the bottles and corks are designed to take an impressive amount of pressure. In fact the pleasant aspects of carbonation in wine was known for many years before proper bottles and corks (ealry stoppers were mainly bundles of reeds) could contain the pressure produced by the process. I once read that when the monk Dom Perignon (who I believe was blind) first produced champagne said "come quick brothers I am drinking stars..." Happy new years!

Brian
 
Feb 17, 2005
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>I would have rather A.shot myself or B.jumped in the water< What if you were in third class and had no access to a gun and were trapped in the sinking hull with no way out?
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>What if you were in third class and had no access to a gun and were trapped in the sinking hull with no way out?<<

You'ed be royally screwed without even a high calibre "Final Friend" to put an end to your terror. The hell of it is that even in the pitch black darkness of whatever spaces in the hull still had air, you would see it coming.

A pretty horrifying way to go.
 
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