The wreck of the Titanic will be nothing more than a rust stain on the bed of the Atlantic within 50 years.
A newly-discovered species of rust-eating bacteria is slowly consuming the 50,000 tons of iron that makes up the sunken liner.
Experts now believe the invasive group of micro-organisms will eventually cause the shipwreck to completely decompose.
The bacteria was identified using DNA technology, and it has been found on clumps of rust known as rusticles, those have covered Titanic's iron hull in the century since it sunk in 1912.
The bacteria - Halomonas titanicae - is said to be fast consuming the rust and the iron. Consequently, scientists believe the wreck will be nothing more than a huge 'rust stain' on the seabed within 50 years.