What Really Happens to a Human Body at Titanic Depths

A Millisecond-by-Millisecond Explanation

JP Brown

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“Anybody else hear a cracking sound?” Photo by Josué AS on Unsplash

It’s a scene straight out of a horror movie — a submersible with five souls on board implodes, deep below the ocean’s surface, at the resting place of the infamous Titanic.

Many reporters are asking if there will be an attempt to bring up the bodies.

But what actually happens to the human body in such unfathomable depths? The answer lies in the peculiar, high-pressure, high-temperature world of deep-sea physics. Join me on a journey through time — millisecond by millisecond — to explore this dark, alien realm.

The Physics of Pressure

Before we take the plunge, let’s do a quick crash course on pressure. In everyday terms, pressure is force exerted on an area. In our normal environment, that’s air pressure. But as you descend under water, that pressure increases due to the weight of the water above. Roughly, for every 10 meters (33 feet) you descend, the pressure increases by 1 atmosphere (atm), or approximately 14.7 pounds per square inch (psi).

The Titanic wreckage lies at a depth of about 3,800 meters (12,500 feet). At that depth, the pressure is an astonishing 380 atmospheres, or about 5,600 psi. That’s equivalent to having a large elephant…

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JP Brown

Entrepreneur/business owner (ElopementBiz.com). Lover of the simple things, always questioning why. Committed to truth, not consistency. Twitter.com/mindofjp