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The Most Infamous Shipwreck in History: Exploring the Lesser-Known Facts About the Titanic

On the 15th of April, 1912, the Titanic sank after crashing into an iceberg in the early hours of the day. The disaster became the subject of several Hollywood films, books, museum exhibits, and countless theories. However, in the North Atlantic that day, other things went down that the movies didn’t show us. Here are five facts about the Titanic that many don’t know. 

The ship was built to surpass expectations

Even the popular movies about Titanic told us that the massive ship was the largest of its kind. The White Star Line’s main rival, Cunard, launched Mauretania and the Lusitania in 1906 and 1907.

Courtesy: Pinterest

To compete, The White Star Line ordered three huge ocean liners: the Britannic, Titanic, and Olympic. The Titanic had 100 more first-class cabins than the Olympic. The movies didn’t tell us that Titanic weighed 1000 tons more than Olympic- a factor that made its downfall colossal.

Many passengers didn’t ‘feel’ the collision

When the ship initially hit the large iceberg, most of the passengers weren’t concerned. As small bits of ice fell on the ship’s deck, people turned them into balls and started a soccer game. Little did they know.

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People in first and second class didn’t really feel the impact; the few that felt it asked crew members about it and went back to what they were doing. However, according to Walter Lord’s 1955 book, a second-class passenger got worried when he noticed the stairs were tilted toward the bow.

The lifeboats weren’t used to full capacity

For a ship carrying over 880 crew members and 1318 passengers, you’ll agree with us that 20 lifeboats with a total capacity of 1170 was insufficient. Although the requirement was 14 boats at the time, the Titanic wasn’t a regular ship!

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The chairman refused to allow Alexander Carlisle to include as many as 40 boats because it would ruin the view for first-class passengers. Eventually, the boats were lowered with only half of their seats filled, leaving third-class passengers to perish.

The closest ship to the Titanic didn’t come to his aid

When the Titanic began sinking, it sent distress signals to a merchant vessel called the Californian about 10 miles away. However, the ship didn’t take any action in response to the distress signals. 

Courtesy: Pinterest

The reason may have been that the ship had stopped its engines for the night due to the icebergs, and the wireless operator had resigned to bed. Eventually, Cunard’s steamship, the Carpathia, 58 miles away, came to the Titanic’s rescue.

The first movie about the disaster was made quickly

With such a big story spreading across the globe, some producers deemed it fit to make a movie while the story was still popular. On the 14th of May, 1912, just 29 days after the Titanic sank, Saved from the Titanic was released.

Courtesy: Silentology

The movie starred an actress who was on the real Titanic, Dorothy Gibson; she even dressed like she did aboard the real ship. It’s not so surprising that Dorothy was often upset on set- the bad memories were still fresh.

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