April 15 will mark the 109th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, which claimed the lives of more than 1,500 people. It was among the worst maritime disasters in history. The ship was only five days into its maiden voyage to New York from Southampton, England, when it struck an iceberg on a moonless night in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The catastrophe has spawned countless books, documentaries, and movies. The sinking of the Titanic ended a gilded age and preordained a more turbulent era.
To identify 57 fascinating facts about the Titanic, 24/7 Tempo compiled information about the ship from various sources, such as Smithsonian, Scientific American, and National Geographic magazines; archives.gov; history.com; and British and American media websites.
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 using sophisticated submersible technology, one of the most amazing achievements in climate science. The ship was discovered as part of a U.S. government mission, according to the National Geographic Museum exhibition “Titanic: The Untold Story” that was held last year.
In 1985, the U.S. Navy commissioned Ballard, who was also a commander in the Navy, to seek and assess the wreckage of the American nuclear submarines USS Thresher and USS Scorpion. The submarines sank in the North Atlantic Ocean during the Cold War, and the Navy wanted to gauge the possible environmental impact they had. Ballard suggested that the mission should also include the search for the Titanic, and the Navy agreed. After finding and exploring the submarines, Ballard searched for, and found, one of history’s most famous shipwrecks.
Today, people are still fascinated by the story of the tragedy. Director James Cameron’s 1997 film “Titanic” has grossed $2.2 billion worldwide, the second-highest gross all time behind “Avatar” (also directed by Cameron). “Titanic” is also one of the most expensive movies ever made.