9 Truly Terrifying Titanic Facts
9. The Sinking Was Predicted 14 Years Earlier
In the creepiest twist ever, the sinking of the RMS Titanic was predicted 14 years earlierin The Wreck of the Titan by Morgan Robertson. The eerie similarities don’t just stop at the name.
Like the Titanic, the fictitious Titan slams into an iceberg in the frigid North Atlantic and sinks to the chilly depths. Also, the Titan didn’t have enough lifeboats onboard, forcing many of her passengers to freeze to death in the icy oceanic waters, just like in the real catastrophe.
Additionally, the mechanics of the two ships were the same, including their similar lengths and cruising speeds, as well as the passenger count of each ill-fated steamer.
One unusual twist is that the doomed Titan had to reckon with an ornery polar bear on top of fathoms-deep frigid arctic waves. After Robertson’s “unsinkable” Titan turned out to be a harbinger for the Titanic disaster, he was heralded as a clairvoyant.
Although Robertson rejected the label, there’s still the spooky question of how his book accurately predicted so many elements of one of the worst civilian maritime calamities in history.
8. The Titanic Was Far From Unsinkable Surprise
The “unsinkable” Titanic was actually quite fragile and rife with deadly design flaws, including open bulkheads and brittle rivets that were no match for the glacial conditions of the North Atlantic. Much of the steel on this luxury liner was as delicate as peanut brittle, ready to shatter at the slightest provocation or collision with an iceberg.
Although Titanic’s fate was sealed the second that the unsealed bulkheads started sucking in seawater and spilling over into one another, the faulty rivets stole valuable time, causing the steamship to falter and slip beneath the waves a full 24 times faster than anyone calculated.
This may account for why the initial lifeboat launch took so long; nobody counted on the Titanic succumbing to the waves in record time. Ironically, if the big ship had hit the iceberg straight on, as opposed to sideswiping it, the ship might have been able to stay afloat, but hindsight is always 20/20.
Not Drowning- Likely Killed Titanic’s Victims Although it would be easy enough for Titanic’s victims to drown in the vicious, deep conditions of the North Atlantic, most of the victims died of hypothermia rather than drowning.
The water was a bone-chilling 28 degrees Fahrenheit, four degrees below freezing, and would have provided a very inhospitable environment to the unfortunate passengers. Most passengers would have died in about three minutes, with even the heartiest lasting at most, a quarter of an hour depending on their physical stamina and how protective their clothing was.
Hypothermia occurs when your body temperature plummets, sending organs into rapid failure, and causing victims to pass out.
Unless you were lucky enough to get a seat in one of the scarce lifeboats, your chance of surviving was minuscule. Only a handful of souls were plucked out of the chilly water after the Titanic sank, with the vast majority dying within minutes after they were hurled into the unforgiving waves.
6. Soon The Titanic Will Be Gone
The ocean floor has not been kind to Titanic, and the final resting place of this colossal ship is rapidly swallowing the wreck into the seafloor. When Titanic was first uncovered 35 years ago, it was mostly intact; a massive ghostship emerging from the inky black on the bottom of the ocean floor.
Even 15 years ago, when the first submersible dive occurred, the wreck was visibly deteriorated but still mostly unscathed by the ravages of time. One short year ago, scientists found quite a different story. Titanic is breaking down rapidly due to a perfect storm of polar temperatures, saltwater, and bacteria.
Once-favorite features of the ship, like the captain’s bathtub, have been returned to nature by the relentless toll of both the sea and her organisms.
Entire staterooms have been swallowed up by the ravages of the ocean as well. Soon, there will be nothing left of Titanic but lore, memories, and historical accounts of those who witnessed that fateful night.
5. The Moon May Have Influenced The Sinking
Every bit as woo-woo as it sounds, the moon may have set the catastrophic conditions for Titanic’s epic sinking in motion. Lunar activity certainly affects the tides, and full moons can bring along strange activities in the oceans, including influencing currents and even impacting the movement of enormous objects, like icebergs. On January 4th, 1912, the moon was unusually full and low to the Earth.
This meant that it seriously dialed up its gravitational pull on our planet and whipped the oceans into a frenzy, pulling icebergs from the North Pole south, directly into the same patch of sea that the Titanic would cross a few months later.
Scientists speculate that the moon hadn’t dipped that low since 796, so it’s no wonder that it wreaked havoc on our seas and set the stage for one of the greatest tragedies of the modern age. Although we can only speculate, this freak tidal phenomenon could be why the crew of the Titanic didn’t anticipate coming across any lethal icebergs until it was far too late.
4. One Passenger Was Shamed For Surviving
Although most people would be thrilled to survive a tragedy as horrific as the Titanic disaster, one passenger was actually shamed for surviving.
The sad tale of Masabumi Hosono is one of the strangest to come out of the Titanic lore. Hosono was the only Japanese passenger aboard Titanic, holding a Second Class ticket, and heading home from an assignment in Europe.
He fell prey to a mixture of condemnation from his own countrymen and racism from the families of those who had the misfortune of drowning or freezing on that fateful night.
Hosono landed in New York with the rest of the survivors and was called a “Lucky Japanese Boy” by local papers. Unfortunately, he was also labeled as a stowaway by the famous survivor and author Archibald Gracie who strongly implied that he had snuck onto the lifeboat at the expense of others.
According to Gracie, Hosono dressed up as a woman to sneak on the boat, an accusation that followed the unfortunate man back to his hometown of Hokura, Japan. Hosono lost his job and was locally smeared as a coward and disgrace to the Japanese people, many who felt that he should have sacrificed himself in the Samurai spirit to save others.
All of this armchair quarterbacking made Hosono the most hated survivor of the R.M.S. Titanic disaster. 3. All Of The Ships’ Musicians Died
Titanic’s brave musicians are well-known for playing until the final moments before the massive liner succumbed to the sea, but very few people know that every last one of them perished in the tragedy.
Unfortunately, the musicians gave their lives to try to restore calm and try to give passengers a sense of normalcy before many of them met their icy fate in the cruel waters of the North Atlantic.
Titanic’s heroic orchestra was comprised of eight members, all who traveled in Second Class, and who were part of a group of traveling musicians that came standard on all British luxury ships. The band was led by Wallace Hartley; conductor and violinist.
Most of the members played string instruments, and there was one pianist, who also performed at dinners and other galas for the First and Second Classes aboard Titanic, as well as on the last night that the ship was above the icy grips of the sea.
2. Whiskey May Have Saved The Day
Although the vast number of people who were cast into the icy waves of the North Atlantic died, there was one survivor who might have stumbled upon the key to keeping warm in sub-freezing temperatures.
Charles Joughin, who worked as a baker on Titanic, actually bobbed in the glacial waves for a full two hours without getting hypothermia or drowning. How did he manage this incredible feat? Whiskey! By all accounts, Joughin was a hero in his own right, throwing deck chairs overboard and helping others into lifeboats, forgoing a seat himself.
Instead, he decided to get drunk and climb over the balcony on the starboard side, riding the unlucky ship down to her watery grave. Joughin was the last person expelled into the water, and his drunken state most certainly saved his life.
He was able to tread water until dawn and survived without a scratch on him, except for swollen feet and presumably a terrible hangover.
1. Initially, The News Reported That Nobody Had Died
Horribly, the initial news report about Titanic could not have been more incorrect. On April 16th, the morning after the disaster, the Daily Mail reported the incident and subsequent sinking, misprinting the time and downplaying the gravity of the situation.
They also reported that no lives were lost in the catastrophe, a horrible mistake that they would have to later recount.
On Wednesday, April 17th, the public learned the real, ghastly truth; that 1,500 people perished on that fateful night.
Newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic struggled to make sense of the tragedy, dealing with conflicting information in a time when data traveled at a snail’s pace. There was also the preconception that Titanic was a state-of-the-art ship and that her passengers would surely be taken care of no matter what.
Nobody could have predicted the lack of lifeboats, the lightning speed at which Titanic sank, or the conditions of the North Atlantic that night. When the truth finally came out, the entire world was devastated.