No one ever thought that the “unsinkable Titanic” would meet its demise on its maiden voyage. Over a century ago, the excitement of its passengers quickly became desperate cries in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its exquisite beauty now lies wrecked and rusted on the ocean floor. In an effort to relive Titanic’s glory days, we’ve dug deep into its history. So, read on to learn 50 facts about the Titanic.
Fact 1: At the time of its maiden voyage, RMS Titanic was the largest passenger ship in the world.
- It had a length of 269 meters. That’s almost 150 adults laying down together in a line.
- It was also the largest man-made moving object in the world.
Fact 2: If it was still running today, people would protest against it because it was not environmentally friendly.
- Its primary source of power was through coal, it burned around 600 tons of coal a day.
- Aside from the smoke it emitted, it also threw 100 tons of ash into the ocean, per day.
Fact 3: Its interior was very luxurious, and based on the London Ritz hotel.
- Being based on such a hotel, it’s no wonder it cost a small fortune to get on board the Titanic!
- It was so huge, it could house many different amenities. It had a gym, a pool, and even a Turkish bath.
Fact 4: Alcoholic drinks were not a problem on the Titanic, it had over 20,000 bottles of beer on board.
- In comparison, it had an additional 1,500 bottles of wine.
- They also had around 8,000 cigars on board, but all of these were only available to First Class passengers.
Fact 5: In theory, even if they had enough time to get away before the ship sunk, there weren’t enough lifeboats for all the passengers to get in.
- They only carried 16 wooden lifeboats and another 4 collapsible lifeboats.
- These could only carry a maximum of ⅓ of the total passengers. However, the Titanic actually brought more lifeboats, than what the law stipulated they were required to bring.
Fact 6: During the ships construction 2 people died.
- These people died because the work was so demanding and difficult. Construction accidents were frequent.
- There were a recorded 250 injuries on site.
Fact 7: First Class passengers had access to a live music service.
- ach first class passenger was given a list of songs they could request.
- This list was made up of more than 350 songs, and the musicians were required to know each one in case someone asked them to play.
Fact 8: The richest person on board had a total net worth of approximately $2 Billion in today’s money.
- He was John Jacob Astor IV, a known socialite in New York.
- As the ship hit the iceberg, he complained to the waiter about his drink lacking ice, “I asked for ice, this is ridiculous.” Ironic looking back, but he got his ice!
Fact 9: When the ship began to sink, victims would often act out in different ways. One victim decided to get changed into his best evening attire to go down with the ship.
- Benjamin Guggenheim was a rich businessman in America.
- Realizing that it was the end for him, he got into his evening suit, before going up on deck where he drank and smoked, while the Titanic sank.
Fact 10: Only 2 out of the 9 dogs on board were rescued.
- The 2 were, a Pomeranian and a Pekinese.
- Since the 2 were small enough to be carried by their owners and sit on their laps, they were allowed to board the lifeboats.
Fact 11: Milton Hershey and Guglielmo Marconi, are some of the lucky people who had a ticket for the Titanic, but didn’t bother getting on the ship.
- Milton Hershey, is known for being the founder of Hershey’s chocolate. And Guglielmo MarconiIt is a famous Italian inventor.
- Guglielmo Marconi, actually survived a second disaster at sea. He was on board the Lusitania ship when it was taken out by the German army.
Fact 12: There were only 29 female crew members, out of 885 crew members on board.
- Almost half of the crew were natives of English Town.
- Almost 700 crew members were already on board when the Titanic left Southampton docks, UK.
Fact 13: The classic scene from James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’, where the musicians continued to play while the boat sank, did happen.
- The musicians played for about 2 hours while the boat was slowly sinking, and other passengers were being evacuated.
- Since priority was given to female passengers and children, they knew that they wouldn’t be able to get off anyway.
Fact 14: The last surviving passenger died in 2009.
- She was only 2 months old when the accident occurred.
- Millvina Dean reached a ripe age of 97 years old when she died.
Fact 15: There was less than a minute between the moment they saw the iceberg and the collision.
- It was seen by lookout Frederick Fleet, who immediately alerted the officers on deck.
- Fleet survived the disaster, and he was also a lookout on another big passenger ship.
Fact 16: The Titanic crew were ordered to turn the ship, to avoid the iceberg. Theorists say if they went straight into the iceberg the ship would not have sunk.
- First Officer William McMaster Murdock ordered the ship to turn, hoping to avoid a collision.
- However, experts theorise, after hours of experimentation, that if the Titanic had kept on her track, and had a head-on collision with the iceberg, it would have remained on the water and not sunk.
Fact 17: Drinking whiskey on the night of the accident saved the boat’s chief baker!
- Charles Joughin, the ship’s baker, swam for more than 2 hours in the cold water, before he was rescued.
- However, since he had been drinking that night, the whiskey helped to keep his body warm.
Fact 18: There was another boat who received the distress call but chose to ignore it.
- SS Californian was criticised heavily for not responding to the distress call of the Titanic.
- But karma worked fast, it also sunk. It sunk 3 years later during the First World War.
Fact 19: The ship broke into 2 halves at around 2 in the morning, sending the remaining passengers into the deep ocean.
- The temperature was around -2 degrees Celsius that morning.
- The chances of surviving was very slim. 20% of those who fell into the waters would have died in the first 2 minutes. Very few would last for more than 15 minutes.
Fact 20: The ship captain, Captain Edward Smith, also died in the tragedy.
- Captain Edward Smith chose to remain on the ship, and asked his crew to save themselves.
- He has a monument in his honour in Lichfield, Staffordshire.
Fact 21: The wreck of the Titanic was found more than 7 decades after it sunk.
- It was discovered 12,500 feet underwater, 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland.
- There have been many attempts to explore the wreckage, the most notable was from the Russian Academy of Science.
Fact 22: There was a controversial documentary about the Titanic released in 1943, it was used as propaganda in World War II.
- It was commissioned by a German Joseph Goebbels, and it featured the brave German passengers on board the Titanic.
- It discredited American and British businessmen, because he blamed them for the fate of the Titanic.
Fact 23: James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’, was the most successful attempt at recreating the history of this tragedy through story.
- The fictional love story of Jack and Rose, quickly became a world phenomenon.
- It was the highest grossing film of all time, until it was dethroned by Cameron’s Avatar.
Fact 24: The ship’s launch attracted more than 100,000 people to watch.
- It took 20 horses to carry its anchor, due to its sheer size.
- It also took more than 20 tonnes of soap and fat, just to make the slipway slippery enough for the boat.
Fact 25: The iceberg was 100 feet tall from the surface, and came from a glacier in Greenland.
- The Titanic received 6 warnings regarding icebergs in the area.
- It is believed that underwater, the iceberg was 400 feet from the surface.
Fact 26: Of the thousands that died, only 306 bodies were recovered.
- The dead bodies were then taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
- There is a maritime museum dedicated to preserving the recovered items from the wreckage. Items include, clothes, shoes, and bags.
Fact 27: There was a book written 14 years before the Titanic sank. The book told the story of an ‘unsinkable ship’ named ‘Titan’, that hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean.
- This was written by Morgan Robertson, it was later believed to be a premonition of the accident.
- The ship Titan, also didn’t have enough lifeboats for its thousands of passengers, like the Titanic.
Fact 28: The beautiful and luxurious Turkish Bath on board, was only to be used by the First Class passengers.
- It was brimming with decorations and had a spacious area.
- However, for Third-Class passengers, 700 of them had to share 2 bathtubs.
Fact 29: All of the engineers, who were on the ship, perished with the Titanic.
- They all stayed behind, to run the power, giving the others time to escape.
- It was also believed, that they took responsibility for failing to ensure that the ship had no flaws.
Fact 30: After hitting the iceberg, it took more than 2 hours for the ship to sink completely.
- It was more than enough time to evacuate everyone from the ship, but they just didn’t have enough lifeboats.
- The first lifeboat was released an hour after they hit the iceberg.
Fact 31: It was really women and children only when it came to the lifeboats.
- The survival rate of women was 74%, and the children’s rate was 52%.
- Those were huge compared to the men’s survival rate of a measly 20%.
Fact 32: After the accident, the first report claimed that no one died.
- The Evening Sun was the first newspaper to report about the accident, but only had unverified reports to work with.
- The news was only corrected 2 days after the original release, when actual reports were released.
Fact 33: There was a scheduled lifeboat drill on the day the accident happened.
- But it didn’t happen. Captain Edward John Smith ordered them to cancel it.
- Up until now, the reason why it was cancelled has never been discovered.
Fact 34: There was a love story on the Titanic, that would also break your heart like Jack and Rose’s story.
- Isidor Straus refused a seat next to his wife on one of the last remaining lifeboats because of the policy, “women and children first.” His wife also refused to leave without him.
- Eyewitnesses said that they saw the couple walking towards the opposite end of the boat, hand-in-hand, waiting for their demise.
Fact 35: You could fit 2 football fields inside the Titanic.
- Based on the official records, it was 882 feet and 9 inches long.
- It would take around 7 minutes to walk around the whole ship.
Fact 36: In 20 years, the remains of the Titanic will be gone forever.
- Scientists discovered that there are new rust-eating bacterias slowly eating away at the remains of the Titanic.
- The bacteria was named ‘Halomonas Titanicae’, in honour of the place it was discovered.
Fact 37: Robert Ballard discovered the remains of the Titanic.
- He wasn’t hired to look for the Titanic, he was there on a top-secret mission.
- He was hired by the US government, to use his underwater robot, to look for nuclear submarines that sunk in the 1960s.
Fact 38: People didn’t believe the ship split in 2 halves. Due to Ballard’s discovery of the wreckage, witnesses accounts were proven to be true.
- When it was reported that the Titanic sunk, most people didn’t believe that it split in 2.
- That’s why researchers were surprised, upon seeing the evidence, that survivors were actually telling the truth.
Fact 39: There were several minor young boys, who served as crew members on board the Titanic.
- Some of these boys were as young as 14 years old when the accident happened.
- Unfortunately, none of these boys survived the sinking.
Fact 40: There was only 1 Japanese passenger on board that survived the accident.
- Masabumi Hosono was a Japanese civil servant at the time of the accident.
- However, after the incident, he was pressed by the media and the Government for being a coward and not staying on the ship.
Fact 41: There was a film about the Titanic, released 29 days after the accident.
- The main actress, Dorothy Gibson, was an actual survivor of the sinking.
- To give it authenticity, she wore the same clothing that she was wearing when the Titanic was sinking. It was reported that she suffered a mental breakdown while filming.
Fact 42: Only 3 of the 4 smokestacks on the Titanic were functional.
- The 3 working stacks were connected to the furnace under the ship, where the smoke was produced.
- The fourth one was not actually connected to anything, it was added to balance the ship.
Fact 43: You can visit the actual wreckage of the Titanic today.
- You can book your tour with a London-based travel company called, Blue Marble Private, who organise a 10-day mission for you to explore the wreckage.
- If you’re adventurous enough, prepare your wallet, it doesn’t come cheap. As of this day, it costs more than $100,000 to go down and see the sights.
Fact 44: Someone actually heard the Titanic distress call from 3,000 miles away.
- Artie Moore, a radio operator, heard the distress call using his home-made radio equipment.
- He then told the locals of Wales about it, but none believed him. He was only vindicated 2 days after when the news broke out.
Fact 45: 14,000 gallons of drinking water was consumed daily on the Titanic.
- Just to have an idea, a gallon of water is the equivalent to 16 cups of water.
- Therefore, in 24 hours, the passengers of the ship would’ve consumed 224,000 cups of water.
Fact 46: There were 2 toddler brothers who survived the accident, without a parent or guardian.
- Nicknamed “the Titanic Orphans,” Edmond and Michel Narvatil were the only children on board who survived without a guardian.
- Their Father kidnapped them from their Mother, hoping to bring them to the US. He was last seen when he put his kids on the lifeboat.
Fact 47: The official name of Titanic was Royal Mail Steamer (RMS) Titanic.
- The RMS or Royal Mail Steamer, was the second liner in the Olympic-class liner series.
- The Titanic was given this name because it could provide a speedy delivery service of letters and packages, for the postal service. Not many liners were able to move at the speed the postal service required at this time.
Fact 48: The reason why the ‘lookers’ didn’t see the iceberg, even though it was 100 feet tall, was because it was believed to be an optical illusion.
- According to historian Tim Maltin, the atmospheric conditions on the night when it happened caused super-refraction, camouflaging the huge iceberg.
- It was the explanation given as to why they only saw it, when it was already too late to maneuver the ship away.
Fact 49: Some of the lifeboats weren’t filled to full capacity.
- For instance, the 1st lifeboat only carried 28 people, when it could’ve carried 65 people.
- It was estimated that more than half of the passengers could have survived if the lifeboats were filled to their maximum capacity.
Fact 50: The revenue from Cameron’s ‘Titanic’, could build around 11 Titanic Ships today.
- Using today’s money, it is believed that it would cost $200 million to construct the Titanic.
- The overall revenue of the film was $2.2 billion, enough to fund the construction of 11 more Titanic ships.