First Titanic expedition dive in 15 years reveals wreck being eaten by bacteria

The world's most famous ship wreck is disappearing.

For the first time in 15 years, an international team of deep-sea explorers dived down to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to the wreck of the Titanic - only to find it being eaten by bacteria, covering the once majestic ship in stalactites of rust.

While some of the wreck remains intact, parts of the famous ship have vanished altogether, the BBC reports.

"Probably the most shocking area of deterioration was the starboard side of the officers’ quarters, the captain's quarters are," Titanic historian Parks Stephenson said.

"The captain's bathtub is a favourite image among Titanic enthusiasts, and that's now gone. That whole deck house on that side is collapsing."

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The Titanic, the largest ship of its time, set sail on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York in 1912. The ship never made it to its intended destination, having sunk after hitting an iceberg. 1500 people lost their lives in the tragedy.

"I think it's still important to go down and visit the wreck," the England's National Maritime Museum senior curator Robert Blyth said, "because of course, the wreck itself is now the only witness we’ve got of the Titanic disaster."

"All of the survivors have now passed away, so I think it's important to use the wreck whilst the wreck is still something to see."

The team are now analysing the footage to estimate how much time is left before the wreck is lost to the sea.