Only last week did we learn of the existence of a new kind of microbe that feasts on arsenic. Now scientists say they have discovered a species of rust-eating ocean bacteria eating away at the wreck of the Titanic.
In honor of their association with the famed ship, the micro-organisms are called "Halomonas titanicae."
The discovery was announced in the newest issue of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.
"In 1995, I was predicting that Titanic had another 30 years," Henrietta Mann, adjunct professor with the Department of Civil Engineering at Dalhouse Univeristy in Nova Scotia and co-author in the study, said in a statement. "But I think it's deteriorating much faster than that now ... Eventually there will be nothing left but a rust stain."
It's not just the Titanic's remains that are at risk. The MailOnline is reporting that the bacteria can adhere to steel surfaces, raising the possibility that it might present a threat to underwater-based structures, such as oil rigs. You can read more about the finding here.