National Geographic : 2012 Apr
• Ghostwalking in Titanic Wandering room to room through the sunken wreck, the explorer and lmmaker nds himself at home among the spirits. I since my intrepid robot Gilligan le its garage on the front of the submersible Mir 1 and disappeared inside the cavernous shipwreck. Our sub was parked on the upper deck of the most famous wreck in history, surrounded by eternal blackness and over 5,000 pounds per square inch of pressure, both thanks to a two-and-a-half-mile column of water over our heads. Safe inside the Mir, I ew the remotely oper- ated vehicle (ROV) with gentle nudges of the joy- stick, its thrusters maneuvering it into the ship's treacherous interior. e "bot" had penetrated to F Deck, paying out a thin ber-optic cable like Theseus in the labyrinth, with only Ariadne's twine to guide him back. ough the tiny vehicle was now seven decks below me, I felt as if my consciousness were inside the bot, its cameras my eyes, staring down the corridors of the ship. Its jeopardy was also mine, and my pulse raced with each new hazard. Turning a corner, I barely escaped being pinned by a falling "rusticle," one of the stalactite-like formations created by the bacte- ria that are slowly devouring the steel of the ship. As I passed through an entrance, suddenly revealed in my lights were sparkling re ections o a wall of gleaming blue and green tiles. Teak chaise lounges lay upturned on the oor, incred- ibly well preserved, and above them was an ara- besque dome covered in gold leaf. I had entered the elegant spa on the most luxurious ship of its time. "Tell them we're in the Turkish baths," I said to Mike Arbuthnot, the marine archaeologist Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron's next expedition is a solo dive to the Mariana Trench.