The story of RMS Titanic is of both elegance and tragedy. Titanic was the world’s largest merchant ship during its time and the largest man-made moving object on Earth. Also known as “the ship that wouldn’t sink”, the tragedy of it sinking on its maiden journey is both heart-wrenching and saddening.
However, there are several other facts revolving around the ship that are fascinating in their own way. Here are some very interesting facts about the Titanic.
Famous Survivors of the Titanic
Everybody has heard of Hershey’s Chocolate. That’s right, “Goodness of Hershey’s happiness . . .” The founder of Hershey’s Chocolate Company, Milton Snavely Hershey, was one of the many passengers of the ship. However, he was also one of the passengers who could not board the ship because of a busy schedule. That’s some luck.
Another scheduled passenger who could not board the ship due to a busy schedule was Guglielmo Marconi. This very person gave the world Marconi’s Law and is accredited as the father of Radios. Fortunately, he did not sink with the ship.
A novella predicted the tragedy
A book named “The Wreck of Titan” or “Futility” was written by Morgan Robertson. In this, a massive passenger ship named Titan sinks in its journey by hitting an iceberg. Sounds familiar? This is exactly what happened with Titanic.
However, what is surprising is that the novella was written in 1898, which was fourteen years before RMS Titanic actually went down.
Even further, the ship in the book and Titanic share the same name, they both were passenger ships that were massive in size and both sank because of hitting an iceberg. The striking similarity between the Titan and Titanic is a grave coincidence, almost impossible to believe.
Titanic has a signature four smokestacks. However the fourth, or rather, the first was not functional as a smokestack. It was used for ventilation instead.
The ship that watched Titanic sink: SS Californian
SS Californian was another merchant ship that travelled a similar route to Titanic. It was also the ship that is accused of “watching Titanic sink”.
The night Titanic was sinking, it sent out distress signals all around. The closest ship to Titanic was SS Californian. The engineer on SS Californian claimed to have clearly seen the distress flares fired by Titanic in the night sky. However, the captain of SS Californian, Stanley Lord, refused to venture in that direction as there were icebergs all around. Trying to aid Titanic would end up with SS Californian sinking too. Also, SS Californian had already sent several warnings about ice being all-around to Titanic earlier that night, which met with empty responses. The warnings were most probably ignored.
The SS Californian herself existed only for a short time when World War I broke out in 1914. The ship was pressed into service as a troop transport by the British government. In 1915, German U-Boat, U-35, sunk Californian off the coast of Greece. She sank with only one life lost. The wreck is not yet found.
Paint found on Iceberg that allegedly was hit by Titanic
The first image was taken by SS Prinz Adalbert, which was sailing through the North Atlantic only a little distance from the spot where Titanic sank the night before. When the image was taken, the ship crew was unaware of what had happened, and only much later, it was concluded that this was the iceberg that Titanic hit, due to clear paint marks of red on its surface.
The second image was taken by Minia, a cable ship sent on the site of the wreck on April 15th to recover corpses and debris. The photo was taken by Captain De Carteret, who claimed this iceberg to be the only one in the area. It also had marks of red paint, and it looked like something had definitely hit it.
The early morning newspaper report blunder
The early morning newspapers of April 15, the day when Titanic sank early morning reported that Titanic had sunk, but they also reported that there were no casualties. This was a great blunder, considering that some of the most prestigious newspapers of the time were reporting this.
The given newspapers, however, apologised for their blunder and regretted to have misreported such a tragedy. They printed a side note, along with the news of the big amount of casualty.
The wreck was found during the Secret Cold War Navy Mission
For 73 very long years, the ship of dreams waited at the bottom of the North Atlantic Sea to be discovered. Finally, in summer of 1985, a US navy officer and professor, Robert Ballad discovered the wrecks of Titanic.
The discovery, however, was just a matter of chance. The US navy had funded secret reconnaissance of the wreckage of two Navy nuclear-powered attack submarines, the USS Scorpion and the USS Thresher, which sank in the 1960s, and not for the Titanic. After that, he Robert and several other underwater archaeologists returned to conduct a detailed study of the wreck. The fact that the ship that “even God could not sink” had broken into two parts before sinking was confirmed only after the discovery of the wreck. Before that, it was just an unbelievable story coming from the mouths of the tragedy survivours.
A biscuit that survived the sinking was auctioned for $23,000
A biscuit that survived the sinking of Titanic was recently auctioned and was sold for a total of $23,000. The biscuit is 103 years old and was found by James Fenwick, a passenger on the Carpathia vessel that saved Titanic passengers.
Among various things found were an unpublished novel, whose author is unknown, jewellery, costly utensils that were used to serve the six-course meal the first-class passengers enjoyed before their fate, and a watch that stopped at the time the ship sank.
Titanic will vanish . . . forever
Scientists discovered a new species of rust-eating bacteria in the wrecks of Titanic. This new species was given the scientific name Halomonas titanicae, after the Titanic, itself on which it was first found.
However, the Titanic sits on the ocean bed with rust all over it. The bacteria that was named after Titanic (which makes the ship the Godfather of the bacteria) is a rust eating type. This means the bacteria is eating away those parts of the ship that are rusted, which is, the entire ship. In 25 years of the discovery of the ship, it had deteriorated massively. The remains of the ship might not be around by 2060.
That will be a great loss. The wrecks of the ship are like a time capsule, frozen in time to remind us what became of the most elegant ship ever made, and what great curse was the beauty incurred with. After the wreck is gone, the ship of dreams will indeed become a dream of past.