Sunday, 15 April 2012

Five Facts You May Not Know About The Titanic

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, in which over 1,500 passengers and crew died in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. After watching various documentaries, here are five of the most fascinating facts you may not know about the fate of the 'unsinkable' liner.

1. It wasn't until 1985 that the wreck of the Titanic was found at the bottom of the Atlantic. Before then, it was not only unknown of the exact location of the wreck, but historians didn't know the ship had in fact broken in half on the water’s surface. An eye witness account from a woman who was on board one of the life boats had explained how the ship broke into two, however historians didn't take her account seriously, suggesting that she was confused and how the explosion and tremor she described would have been the breaking of the funnels. Of course, the survivor was right, and the bow and stern of the ship lay roughly a mile apart from each other.

2. Titanic didn’t capsize, it stayed upright, yet most other ships that sink roll over first. It is debated whether this was just luck or the skilled engineers below, who managed to keep the ship upright long enough for the lifeboats to be successfully lowered into the Atlantic.

3. How would you have saved more passengers?
James Cameron and his team have discussed what they would have done to save more lives. Here are some of their ideas:
  •   The closest ship to the Titanic was in fact the Californian and not the Carpathian, which was only 6-8 miles away. James Cameron believes the Titanic should have been driven backwards towards the Californian, while the boilers were still in action in order to make it easier for lifeboats to travel backwards and forwards to collect more passengers.
  •   There was field ice close to where the ship sank which could have been easily walked upon; a fact that would have been known by the captain and his crew. Why not head north-west towards it.
  • Why weren't rafts made? The woodwork from the first class lounge could have been torn off and the crew could have fashioned rafts from the material. Perhaps another 50 lives could have been saved by using this method.
  • Another long-shot idea by James Cameron and some of his team was to put everyone on the iceberg, as the ship is sinking and the iceberg is not. However, they argued that if there was trouble convincing passengers to get into a lifeboat, how are you going to convince 2,000 people to climb onto an iceberg and be able to stay safely upon it.

Of course some of their ideas sound ridiculous, but in hind-site the original action taken by the captain and crew wasn’t as affective as it could have been. However, no-one knows how they are going to react when faced with such a tragedy. 

4. What was inaccurate about James Cameron’s movie?
The film is well accepted in the Titanic community. Perhaps the directors and writers are harder on themselves due to further information they know now, as of course, the film was based upon what they knew at the time, in 1997. Here are some elements James Cameron and his team would have changed about the film:
  • The colour of the flared rockets was unknown. It was believed they were white flares which created coloured balls of light. The writers didn’t think this would have been believed by the audience and so made the flames white. In 2004, rocket detonators were found at the bottom of the Atlantic, and were in fact lots of different colours.
  •  In the movie, the elevation of the stern during the sinking was depicted as too high, appearing more dramatic than it was.

5. James Cameron decided not to change anything when the film was re-released in 3D this April. With his team however, he has managed to re-create the visual animation of the sinking based on what we know today. To view the animation shown on the National Geographic channel, please click here.


  1. titanic was such a sad story! thanks for sharing the facts!! i love the movie

  2. I tried submitting my comment but it froze, so I'm not sure if it went through...anyway!
    Thanks for sharing! I've always found Titanic's history to be fascinating :)

    loving your blog, girly! The background is adorable.

    xo, Samantha