10 Things about Titanic You Didn’t Know

The RMS Titanic was supposed to be a technological marvel. The ship, which was built in Belfast, was the world’s largest at the time. The luxury liner sailed from Southampton, England to New York City for the first time in 1912. People had flocked to reserve seats aboard the ship.

First-class tickets were priced differently, with the least costing 30 pounds, or roughly €4,000 ($4,330) today. Many of the guests could afford it, including real estate developer and hotel owner John Jacob Astor, one of the world’s wealthiest men at the time, and billionaire Benjamin Guggenheim and his mistress. They all wanted to be the first passengers on the Titanic and make history.

Others viewed the voyage as an opportunity to start a new life in North America. Nobody expected the Titanic to never arrive at its final destination. The steamer collided with an iceberg on April 14, 1912, and the inaugural trip was a disaster. The catastrophe has spawned a slew of tales and legends that have persisted to this day. Here are ten Titanic facts you may not have known.

1. No binoculars on hand

Sailor Frederick Fleet was on duty as a lookout on the tragic night of April 14. He was a seasoned sailor who had been sailing since he was twelve years old. It was reportedly brutally cold in the crow’s nest that night when Fleet spotted a dark mass in the water — the first sighting of the iceberg — and alerted his bosses to the danger. The first cop arrived on the scene quickly, but it was too late.

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Fleet survived the tragedy and later admitted that he did not have binoculars on board. The binoculars were kept in a locked cabinet, with the keys left with an officer who wasn’t onboard. This officer was one of the crew members that had been replaced just before the first Atlantic crossing. He must have neglected to take the key with him when he boarded the ship.

2. The band keeps playing

When the Titanic collided with the iceberg and it became evident that the ship would sink, panic ensued, and the air was filled with screams from passengers racing to board lifeboats. The liner’s musicians, on the other hand, chose to perform on the luxury liner’s deck. The band was still trying to calm down the terrified passengers onboard more than two hours after the collision. The accident claimed the lives of all eight musicians. The band’s moving gesture may be seen in director James Cameron’s cult blockbuster “Titanic” from 1997.

3. ‘Be British, boys, be British’

On the Titanic, none of the engineers survived. “Be British, boys, be British,” Captain Edward John Smith is believed to have encouraged his crew.

Other men, even those from the first class, preferred to die honorably as well. “We’ve dressed up in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen,” businessman Benjamin Guggenheim is believed to have stated. “I asked for ice, but now this is ludicrous,” real estate billionaire John Jacob Astor is supposed to have observed. In a lifeboat, he assisted a young woman and a child emigrant.

Only 700 people out of a total of 2,240 people escaped the accident.

4. Drinking to stay warm

The temperature of the sea that night was roughly 0 degrees Celsius (27 degrees Fahrenheit), a temperature at which a person could only survive for 15 minutes.

Charles Joughin, the Titanic’s chief baker, is one of the ship’s most famous survivors. Despite being picked as the captain of one of the lifeboats, he declined because the lifeboat already had sailors on board to steer it.

Joughin sank with the ship, but he had consumed so much wine that he didn’t feel the chill of the water in which he drifted. He was dragged onto an overturned lifeboat and eventually picked up by a rescue ship after swimming in the water for two hours.

5. Love on the Titanic

Rose and Jack’s love story in James Cameron’s “Titanic” is purely fictional. On the Titanic, however, there were some loves who met a horrible end.

Isidor and Ida Straus, co-owners of the American department store Macy’s, are an example. They were on their way back to New York after spending the winter in Europe. Both were offered a seat in a lifeboat, but Isidor declined because he did not want to board the sinking ship while children and women were still on board.

In turn, his wife Ida refused to be rescued without her husband, reportedly saying, “I will not be separated from my husband.” We will die together, just as we have lived.” Several plaques, including one at Macy’s department store in New York City, honor the couple who chose to share death.

6. Why weren’t there enough lifeboats?

While the ship’s original designer planned for 32 lifeboats, the shipping corporation was satisfied that the liner was secure and that adding more lifeboats would merely take up unnecessary deck space. The importance of comfort on a ship like this could not be overstated.

The corporation did not break any safety standards because, under the norms of the time, the number of boats was determined by the ship’s weight rather than the number of passengers. It was an erroneous calculation. Only 700 people could be saved with the 16 lifeboats and four folding boats onboard.

7. Art predicts life

Perhaps the White Star Line shipping firm should have studied author Morgan Robertson’s book “Futility,” published in 1898, before naming the vessel Titanic.

The Titan, a vast and elegant ship, hits an iceberg while sailing between the United States and England, much like the Titanic did in real life.

8. The long search for the shipwreck

Many people set out to find the sunken Titanic, but it wasn’t until 1985, 73 years after the disaster, that underwater archaeologist Robert Ballard was able to locate and photograph the wreck in the North Atlantic. He was able to fund this project by agreeing to participate in a secret US Navy mission to look for the remnants of two sunken submarines. After that, he was given twelve days to locate the Titanic using Navy equipment.

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He discovered the wreck of the old luxury liner at a depth of 3,800 meters (12,470 ft), in complete darkness. The discovery arrived barely in time, as bacteria had already settled on the Titanic and had begun to decompose it piece by piece, turning it into dust. The wreck is expected to be gone by 2030, according to scientists. Nonetheless, the legend will live on.

9. Well-known and not so well-known film adaptations

James Cameron’s 1997 box-office success Titanic is undoubtedly the most well-known film adaptation of the Titanic narrative. The film grossed $2.5 billion (€2.3 billion) worldwide and is regarded as one of the most successful pictures in cinema history, winning eleven Academy Awards.

However, there were other cinematic versions as well. The first was built in 1912, the same year as the sinking of the steamship. It was called “Saved From the Titanic,” and the main character was a Titanic survivor. During World War II, Germany produced a Titanic film, but the Nazis used it as a propaganda tool against the United States and the United Kingdom.

10. Titanic in comparison today

Many passenger ships have sailed the Atlantic since 1912, and the Titanic has since been surpassed in size by many other ships. Wonder of the Seas will be the world’s largest cruise ship when it debuts this year. It will be 66 meters (216 feet) wide, as opposed to the Titanic’s 28 meters (92 feet). The Titanic is only 53 meters tall, but the Wonder of the Seas stands at 72.5 meters (238 feet) (173 feet).

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The article has been translated from German


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