Viral Photo Purporting to Titan Submersible Game Controller on Ocean Floor Is Fake

An altered image showing the infamous modified Logitech game controller on the ocean floor circulated online.

David Ryder via Getty Images

Following the news that the OceanGate Expeditions Titan submersible craft imploded during its journey to the Titanic shipwreck, an altered image purporting to show the video game controller used to pilot the vessel laying on the ocean floor circulated online.

Per the Associated Press, a doctored image showing the modified Logitech G F710 Wireless Gamepad used during the fatal voyage on the ocean floor is not real. A marine researcher who took the original image, which showed the bottom of the Pacific Ocean floor, confirmed the photo dates to 2015. It was taken as part of a deep sea study, and it's worth noting that the Titanic shipwreck is in the Atlantic Ocean. Additionally, the U.S. Coast Guard has confirmed no images of the Titan vessel have been publicly released yet as investigators continue to look into what caused its implosion, which killed all five onboard.

A viral post with the image circulated on Twitter and received over 20,000 likes and 17.3 million views. "This image does not depict debris from the Titan submersible," reads a community note attached to the image, which also links the original version of the picture to a BBC article from 2020. "As of the time of this Tweet's posting, no images of any debris had been released or confirmed by the U.S. Coast Guard or any news sources."

Matthias Haeckel, the lead researcher on the project the photo was taken for, added that it was taken in the Peru Basin. "No game controller on it," he noted. On Sunday, the U.S. Coast Guard said that images of the Titan wreckage will only be publicly released once the investigation is completed. “Unless released from our official press releases or our social media, these photos are unconfirmed,” a statement from the Coast Guard confirmed.

The latest update from the recovery efforts confirmed that a remotely operated vehicle deployed in the search recovered the tail section of the submersible craft. "Experts from within the unified command are evaluating the imagery and debris while continuing ROV’s search efforts near the Titanic to locate additional portions of the Titan," reads the statement.

During the search for the vessel, the BBC reported that Titan was controlled by the Logitech G F710 controller, which retails for $39.99. While it might sound ridiculous, it's actually a relatively standard practice for game controllers to be used by the U.S. Navy, for instance.

Popular YouTuber MrBeast recently shared that he was invited to join the fatal voyage of the OceanGate submersible. “I was invited earlier this month to ride the Titanic submarine, I said no. Kind of scary that I could have been on it,” the 25-year-old wrote.

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