The missing Titan submersible, which had five people on board, has most certainly ran out of oxygen, making any chance of rescue even more remote. On Sunday, the submersible went missing while diving to the Titanic shipwreck at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The US Coast Guard assessed on Monday that the sub had 70 to 96 hours of breathing air when it took off.
The Titan began its dive at approximately 7 a.m. ET on Sunday, thus 96 hours later would be approximately 7 a.m. ET on Thursday. 96 hours is a rough estimate. As Amber Middleton of Insider noted earlier this week, the pace of consumption can vary dramatically depending on factors like as how active the crew is and the temperature on board.
As of Thursday morning, there was no sign that rescuers knew where the submersible was. As a result, it is impossible to establish whether the oxygen supply would be meaningful at all. An expert warned Insider that a “catastrophic failure” may have already killed everyone on board. He speculated that it could have been caused by a power outage or a hole in the hull, resulting in a “catastrophic implosion.”
The US Coast Guard informed Insider that it will continue to search for the submersible until Thursday. A press conference has been postponed and is not likely to take place today, according to the spokeswoman.According to forensics experts, there is no research and scant precedent for remains being discovered in a highly pressured and intact vessel.
Temperature and oxygen are the two main causes of decomposition, according to Melissa Connors, director of the Forensic Investigation Research Station at Colorado Mesa University. According to her, the higher the temperature, the faster the body decomposes, because bacteria cannot flourish without oxygen. “Generally, in an environment without oxygen,
remains will not decompose much because the micro and macro organisms that would work to consume and decompose the tissues will be unable to survive,” Nicholas Passalacqua, director of Forensic Anthropology at Western Carolina University, told Insider in an email. In frigid temperatures and in the absence of oxygen for germs, the body dries up through a process known as sublimation, in which water transitions from a solid to a gaseous state, according to Connors.
“So you might end up with mummies,” she suggested. Other factors to examine are anaerobes, a type of bacteria that does not require oxygen to thrive and may contribute to decomposition, according to Daniel Wescott, director of the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State University.