The Year was 1912 and the impossible happened--the unsinkable ship, the RMS Titanic, hit an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. For a quick overview of the Titanic, watch the 3-minute history here:
1. The Sister Ship
The Titanic was one of two nearly identical sister ships. She was built in the Belfast, Ireland shipyards alongside her sister ship, The Olympic.
2. The Slippery Ship
Over 22 tons of soap was used to help slip the Titanic out to sea. The Titanic was massive. It was 883 feet long and 175 feet tall from keel to smokestacks. The smokestacks were about 62 feet tall. The Titanic weighed in at somewhere over 45,000 tons. The smokestacks and other accessories weren't added until after the Titanic was pushed out to sea, but still, it was quite an undertaking to move the ship from land to water.
3. 3's a Crowd: 3 Smokestacks and 3 Countries
Before the Titanic began its voyage to the United States, the ship visited 3 different countries to pick up passengers. Ireland, Britain, and France. The Titanic also had 3 working smokestacks. You may have noticed that the ship does have 4 smokestacks. The designers felt that 3 smokestacks didn't look symmetric, so they added a fourth smokestack which was also used for ventilation from the Titanic kitchen.
4. The Titanic Sinks
Along with the fourth smokestack of the Titanic being fake, the number 4 was symbolic for the Titanic in another way. The Titanic was on the fourth day of its journey when it hit the iceberg and sank. It was April 12th, 1912.
5. The Water Temperature
The water temperature of the Atlantic Ocean was about 36 degrees Fahrenheit, which meant the average lifespan for people in the water, including Leonardo DiCaprio, was about 15 minutes.
6. The Watertight Compartments
The Titanic had a reputation for being unsinkable. This was because the ship had 16 watertight compartments and could stay afloat so long as only 4 of them were filled with water. Unfortunately, 6 were filled after the Titanic hit an iceberg. The Titanic also received 6 Morse Code warnings from other ships that day about ice. It continued full speed ahead anyways.
7. The Titanic was expensive, but the Movie "Titanic" was even more expensive
The Titanic cost about 7.5 million dollars to build back in 1912. That would be almost 183 million dollars today. For reference, it cost 200 million to film the Titanic movie, so yes it cost more to film the Titanic than it did to build it. The movie made over 2 billion at the box office.
8. Finding the Titanic
The wreckage of the Titanic was lost for over 60 years. It was found on the ocean floor in 1985. It also cost about 6 million dollars to find her.
9. The Lifeboats
Around 2224 people were on the Titanic’s first and only voyage. the 20 lifeboats onboard could have held 1178 people in the 160 minutes that it took for the ship to sink, but they only managed to save about 706. Only 31 percent of passengers were saved.
10. The Forgotten Titanic
The last survivor, Millvina Dean, died in 2009, 97 years after the sinking. She was only 2 months old when the ship sank. Some experts suggest the Titanic will disintegrate and disappear within the next 20 years.