This weekend marks the 106th anniversary of the demise of the Titanic, which claimed the lives of over 1,500 people. The vessel was only five days into her voyage to New York from Southampton, England when she struck an iceberg that had seemingly popped out of nowhere. The extravagance of vacationing on such an immense ship in the early 20th century soon resulted in one of the most ill-fated excursions of all time.
To identify 57 fascinating facts about the Titanic, 24/7 Wall St. compiled a list of historical facts about the ship from a slew of sources.
While the ship sank following its collision with the iceberg, there are several theories that attempt to explain how and why the collision caused the supposedly unsinkable ship to sink.
Various researchers and investigative journalists have revisited the site of the wreckage since its discovery in 1985. One of the latest theories suggests the metal composition of the hull of the ship had become brittle because of an ongoing fire in one of the coal bunkers prior to the ship’s departure. In his documentary, “Titanic: The New Evidence,” investigative journalist Senan Molony shows pictures that possibly indicate the fire’s effects on the steel hull. The mark from the fire is visible on the ship’s starboard side — between the site of the fire and the point of collision.
For years, many have been perplexed as to how the iceberg could have sunk what was thought to be the sturdiest ship of its time. Molony’s research may have brought us one step closer to unraveling the true succession of events that led to the sinking of the ship.
The remains of the Titanic were found in 1985 by Dr. Robert D. Ballard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts and a team of American and French researchers. Several years after the discovery, the first parts of the doomed ship were brought to the surface and the physical evidence seemed to suggest the steel used to build Titanic was of lower quality. Other scientists claim the ship’s rivets were weak.
Aside from a century’s worth of theories after the sinking, a short novel that predates the Titanic eerily foreshadows the ship’s hapless destiny. In 1898, American writer Morgan Robertson wrote “Futility,” a story about a large, unsinkable ship called Titan. The Titan is struck by an iceberg in the Northern Atlantic ocean and sinks — and many of the passengers perish because of a lack of lifeboats. Robertson’s novella was written more than decade before the Titanic was built.
Today, people are still fascinated by the story of the Titanic. James Cameron’s depiction of the tragic story in his film “Titanic” touched the hearts of many worldwide. Since its release in 1997, the film has grossed $2.2 billion worldwide.
After the wreckage was discovered many items were recovered. These have been sold at auctions for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Artifacts that have been auctioned off include various items such as the menu of the last lunch and a pocket watch. One of the musicians’ violins sold for $1.7 million.