The Titanic Was the Largest Ship of Its Time
Titanic facts reveal that the RSM Titanic, as Titanic was officially called, was the world’s largest passenger ship at the time. But it wasn’t only the largest object at sea; it was also the largest man-made moving object on Earth in general. The Titanic, of course, doesn’t hold that title any more – the largest passenger vessel at the current moment is the MS Allure of the Seas, measuring 1,187 feet in length.
The Titanic Was Built in Belfast, Ireland
Belfast, Ireland was back then a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The RMS Titanic was one of the three Olympic-class ocean liners; the other two vessels were called the RMS Olympic and the HMHS Britannic. These three were by far the biggest ships owned by the British shipping company White Star Line.
All three ships, including the RMS Titanic, were constructed by Belfast shipbuilders Harland and Wolff. Since the magnitude of the ships was a much more important factor than the cost, the company received authorization to spend whatever they needed on the ships.
Only 2 People Died during the Construction of the Titanic
None would be even better of course, but only two deaths was actually quite an achievement going by the building standards at that time. Around 3,000 people worked for more than two years to build the Titanic, and, aside from the two deaths, 246 injuries occurred during the construction process.
The Titanic Did Not Have Nearly Enough Lifeboats for All Its Passengers
It is one of the most well-known Titanic facts that the vessel only had enough lifeboats for a small number of the passengers on the ship. The Titanic only had 20 lifeboats, which was enough to save 1,178 people – that was only about one-third of the passenger capacity on the Titanic. However, the Titanic actually had more lifeboats than was legally required at that time.
But the number of lifeboats was not the only obstacle when it came to saving people from the sinking ship; the lifeboats were not filled to their full capacity. The first lifeboat that left the stricken skip only carried 28 people, but its capacity was 65 people. If all the lifeboats on the Titanic were filled to capacity, 53% of all passengers could have been saved, but only 31% were actually rescued. The lifeboat drill that was scheduled for April 14 also did not take place, and the reasons for its cancellation are unknown.
Almost Two-Thirds of the People on Board the Titanic Died
The majority (1,352) of all 1,514 victims were men, 109 of them were women and 53 were children. This is consistent with the fact that lifeboats were primarily filled with women and children, who therefore had a much better chance of survival.
Even though second and third class passengers were hit harder than first class passengers (there were 528 victims among the third class passengers, 167 victims among the second class passengers and only 123 victims among the first class passengers), the group that suffered the most significant losses was the crew. Of the 908 members of the crew on the Titanic, only 212 of them survived the sinking. Out of 30 engineers, not a single one made it off the Titanic alive.
Some Titanic Passengers Made it off the Shipwreck
Even though the Titanic took many lives, there were also many survivors who were lucky enough to have made it off the ship alive. Their stories are very different, but most of them have a happy ending. The ship’s baker, Charles Joughnin, was reported have managed to survive in the extremely cold water, which killed most of the passengers (at the time of the sinking, the sea temperature was only around 28° F), because he had drunk enough whiskey to keep him alive.
A Japanese passenger who was lucky enough to survive the accident did not receive a very warm welcome upon his return to Japan. He was called a coward for not dying with the rest of the passengers. And the last remaining survivor of the Titanic sinking, Millvina Dean, who was two months old at the time of the disaster, died on May 31 2009, aged 97.
Cancellations Saved Many Lives That Would Have Been Lost on the Titanic
Since traveling on the Titanic was one of the most exciting experiences of the era, absolutely everyone wanted to be on it – and therefore probably felt more than a little bad about missing the ship’s departure. However, Titanic facts show that those who missed out were actually very lucky.
Among the ticket holders who missed the journey were many famous names, such as Milton S. Hershey, founder of the chocolate firm, Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor and electrical engineer, and Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, a businessman and sportsman, who died three years later on the RMS Lusitania.
Just 37 Seconds Passed between the Sighting of the Iceberg and the Collision
Even though the sinking of the Titanic was a quite lengthy process, the first part happened rather quickly. The iceberg was spotted on April 14 1912 at 11.40 PM by the lookout, Frederick Fleet, who yelled: “Iceberg! Right ahead!” But it was too late – the ship crashed into the iceberg just 37 seconds later. The Titanic started sinking, and eventually broke in two around 2.20 AM on April 15. It then sunk, sending all the passengers still on the board into the depths of the ocean. All in all, it took the Titanic about 2 hours and 40 minutes to sink completely.
Both the Ship’s Captain and First Officer Went Down with the Ship
Together with most of the other members of the crew, the ship’s captain Edward Smith and the first officer William McMaster Murdoch both died on the Titanic. Smith’s last words were: “Well boys, you’ve done your duty and done it well. I ask no more of you. I release you. You know the rule of the sea. It’s every man for himself now, and God bless you.”
A statue of Smith can be found in Lichfield, Staffordshire, and a memorial to Murdoch is located in his hometown of Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland.
One Conspiracy Theory Claims the Titanic Tragedy Was an Insurance Scam
There are many controversial and mysterious Titanic facts, but the theory of the ship being sunk on purpose is definitely among the most popular ones. Some people claim that the ship was sunk on purpose as a part of an insurance scam – but that the ship that sank was not the Titanic in the first place. It was supposed to be in fact Titanic’s sister ship the Olympic, which was disguised as Titanic. The Olympic was a bit older than the Titanic, but very similar in appearance, so it could have easily posed as the Titanic.
The plan was supposedly to get rid of the Olympic, which had previously been involved in another accident and had been damaged beyond repair. Sinking the Olympic and claiming it was the Titanic would have allowed the White Star Line to collect the full insurance value of the brand new vessel. This means that the infamous Titanic could have been sailing around for years and years after its alleged sinking.
A 30-Second Delay Was Responsible for the Sinking of Titanic
The Titanic was a huge ship, so it was difficult to change its direction quickly – which was also the reason why nothing could have been done once the iceberg had been spotted. But, as Titanic facts reveal, the difference between safety and disaster was really only a matter of seconds. Had the iceberg been spotted only 30 seconds earlier, and had the order to change the course been given then, the Titanic could have avoided hitting the iceberg.
However, Titanic facts also suggest that changing the course of the ship at the moment of spotting the iceberg was not the best possible choice. According to various sources, the Titanic might not have sunk if it hit the iceberg head first, which is what would have happened had the course not have been changed.
The Iceberg That Sank the Titanic Has Been around for about 3,000 Years
The iceberg that sank the Titanic was around 100 feet tall and it had originally been a part of a glacier in Greenland. It was about 3,000 years old at the time of the accident. Even though there are many icebergs floating around the oceans, the Titanic is actually the only ocean liner that has ever been sunk by an iceberg. But that could change any time now, as ships today are more likely to encounter an iceberg than they were during the Titanic era.
A First Class Ticket Would Cost around $70,000 Today
The price back then was about $4,350, which would be nearly $70,000 today. This was the amount passengers had to pay for the most expensive first class ticket to New York.
It sounds a lot, but it was not much of a problem for most of the Titanic’s passengers. Its wealthiest passenger John Jacob Astor IV, an American businessman, investor and real estate builder, was worth an estimated $85 million when he died aboard the Titanic.
The Musicians Played for 2 Hours and 5 Minutes as the Ship Sank
Much has been said about the musicians playing without stopping while the Titanic was sinking, and Titanic facts reveal that most of this is true. The 8 musicians were employed by an agency and travelled on the Titanic as second class passengers. They all died on the ship and, after the accident, their families were billed by their agency for the cost of the uniforms worn by the band members when they died. This caused outrage in the media at the time.
The Wreck of the Titanic was Only Discovered in 1985
One of the most surprising Titanic facts reveals that it took 73 years to locate the remains of the once majestic Titanic. There had been several attempts to find the ship’s wreckage over the years, but they were unsuccessful. Finally, the Titanic – or what was left of it – was found 13.2 miles from its last known location, 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland. The wreckage lies at around 12,500 feet below the surface of the ocean, but will not be there for much longer – according to scientists, a newly-discovered species of rust-eating bacteria will completely consume the remains of the Titanic in the next 20 years or so.
The Titanic has Inspired Many Movies
There have been hundreds of movies and documentaries about the Titanic; the first one was called Saved From The Titanic and was released only 29 days after the sinking. It was co-written by, and starred, a Titanic survivor named Dorothy Gibson. The most controversial Titanic film was certainly the one commissioned by Joseph Goebbels in 1943. The plot of this movie discredited British and American businessmen and celebrated brave German passengers.
But the Titanic movie that has undoubtedly been the most successful is James Cameron’s Titanic. The movie, which was released in 1997, grossed more than $2 billion and won 11 Oscars. The budget for the filming was higher than the budget for building the Titanic itself.
The Titanic’s Interior Resembled the Ritz Hotel in London
Titanic facts reveal that the interior of the vessel was loosely based on the design of the Ritz hotel in London. But the Titanic took things to the extreme: facilities available on board included luxuries such as a gym, a pool, a Turkish bath, a kennel for first class dogs, two libraries, and a squash court. The most majestic ship in history even had its own newspaper called the Atlantic Daily Bulletin.
The Titanic Wasn’t Very Environmentally Friendly
It was not too much of a concern back then, but the Titanic would be considered extremely eco-unfriendly these days. The vessel burned around 600 tons of coal each day, which was hand shoveled into the furnaces by a team consisting of 176 men. As a result of this coal burning, almost 100 tons of ash were released into the sea for every single day of sailing.
However, even though the Titanic burned so much coal, it only had three functioning funnels. The fourth one was fake, and was only added to make the ship appear more powerful and to make it look symmetrical.
The Sinking of the Titanic Was Predicted 14 Years before It Actually Happened
One of the most surprising Titanic facts reveals that the sinking of the Titanic was actually forecasted in advance. In 1898, 14 years prior to the sinking, Morgan Robertson wrote a book in which he described an “unsinkable” ship called the Titan, which collided with an iceberg and sank.
The Titanic Was Especially Unlucky for Some of Its Passengers
Even though sailing on the world-famous Titanic did not turn out to be a positive experience for any of its passengers, it was even worse for some. One man who survived the sinking of a ship in 1871 and finally overcame his fears of sailing on a ship decided to give it another try; tragically, he died in the sinking of the Titanic.
Titanic Facts – Facts about the RMS Titanic Summary
The RMS Titanic was the largest ship of its time, measuring 882 feet and 9 inches in length. It sank en route to New York, USA at 11.40 PM on the night of April 14 1912. The sinking claimed more than 1,500 lives; the majority were lost due to the insufficient number of lifeboats, and due to the fact that the lifeboats were not filled to their full capacity. The RMS Titanic went down in the North Atlantic Ocean, about 375 miles south of Newfoundland. The wreckage of the famous liner now lies 13.2 miles from its last known location at around 12,500 feet below the surface of the ocean.