One of the most famous ships in history, the RMS Titanic, had a tragic ending after sideswiping an iceberg and sinking into the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15th, 1912.
- The ship carried 2,224 passengers and crew,
- More than 1,500 died.
At the time, the Titanic was the largest ship afloat and was called “unsinkable.” However, it became one of the deadliest commercial maritime disasters in modern history. While the ship’s story has been told in multiple films, there are some chilling details that remain fairly unknown.
Here are 16 haunting facts about the RMS Titanic.
1. Once the RMS Titanic made contact with the giant iceberg, it took two hours and forty minutes until the massive ship was completely submerged under the water.
2. Famously recognized for their heroism, eight musicians of the RMS Titanic decided to continue playing music as the ship sank. They did this as an attempt to keep the passengers calm. All eight musicians died and only three of their bodies were ever found.
3. While the Titanic was equipped to carry up to 64 lifeboats, it optimistically only carried 20. During the sinking of the Titanic, most of the lifeboats were not filled to capacity and many lives that could have been saved were lost.
4. The day the Titanic sank there was a lifeboat drill scheduled. It ended up being cancelled by the Captain for unknown reasons.
5. Chief baker aboard the RMS Titanic, Charles Joughin, survived the sinking and managed to swim for two hours in the freezing waters before being rescued. Having suffered virtually no ill effects from the frigid waters, Joughin attributes his survival to the excess of whiskey he consumed before the ship sank.
6. Thirteen couples boarded the luxurious Titanic for their honeymoon, but few survived the disastrous outcome.
7. From the moment the ship collided with the iceberg, it took over an hour for the first lifeboat to be finally released. However, at that time, panic had already started to arise among the passengers aboard.
8. The temperature of the ocean where the Titanic sank was 28 degrees, which is four degrees below the freezing point.
9. The remains of the ship weren’t actually found until 1985, over 70 years after the Titanic sank. The shipwreck was found 12,500 feet deep in the ocean near the coast of Newfoundland.
10. John Jacob Astor IV was the richest man on board the Titanic and gave up his spot on the final lifeboat. He was last seen smoking a cigarette on the deck with mystery writer Jacques Futrelle.
11. The RMS Titanic boasts four smoke stacks, however, the fourth wasn’t actually connected to the furnaces that produced smoke. While it served some minor functions, it was mostly installed for aesthetic purposes.
12. When the story of the Titanic was first reported by newspapers, they stated that no lives were lost. It took two days before an accurate announcement was dispatched.
13. To give an idea of just how large the Titanic was, it measured 882 feet and 9 inches in length, which is approximately two and a half football fields long from bow to stern.
14. One passenger who had previously lived through a traumatic fire and sinking of a ship in 1871 lost his life on the Titanic.
15. The sinking of the Titanic claimed more than 1,500 lives, however, only 306 bodies were ever found.
16. The wreckage of the RMS Titanic at the bottom of the ocean remains a fascinating yet haunting image. A rust-eating bacteria, Halomonas titanicae, will consume what’s left of the ship within twenty years.