On Apr 15, 1912, the Titanic sank and claimed the lives of more than 1,500 people. This is one of the worst maritime disasters in history. We identified some fascinating facts about the famous ship, compiled from various sources. Maybe you never knew some of them. Here we go.
The ship cost over $7 million to construct
The giant vessel cost $7.5 million to build in the early 20th century, which would be equivalent to $183.4 million today.
The ship took over two years to build
The ship took 26 months to build. Construction crews used 3 million rivets to build the 26,000-ton hull, a combination of iron and steel.
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Two workers died while building the ship
We know for certain that two workers died during the construction of the ship, but there might have been others who were killed. Samuel Joseph Scott, 15, fell from a ladder and fatally fractured his skull. James Dobbins was squashed by timber that fell while transporting the Titanic from the shipyard to the dock where it launched.
Only three of Titanic’s four funnels worked
The robust ship’s four funnels were partially for the show — just three of the funnels launched out residue. The other was merely used for ventilation purposes and added a certain majestic aesthetic to the ship.
Royal Mail Steamer (RMS) Titanic was the official name
The designation Royal Mail Steamer, or RMS, has been around since the mid-19th century. Because mail had to arrive on time and ships were penalized for delays, the designation was a mark of quality. Nearly 200 ships, including the Titanic, received the designation.
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The ship burned an estimated 825 tons of coal per day
The Titanic was far from a light craft, weighing some 46,000 tons. This behemoth of a vessel burned a reported 825 tons of coal per day in 159 furnaces that heated 29 boilers.
The iceberg was first spotted at 11:30 p.m. on April 14
A lookout spotted the iceberg and frantically rang the warning bell. The ship was hastily turned at a sharp angle to avoid hitting it, but it was too late.
The iceberg that hit the ship may have jutted out 100 feet above the water
The iceberg that the Titanic conflicted with is speculated to have been anywhere from 50 to 100 feet above the water. The entire iceberg is assumed to have been between 200 and 400 feet long.
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The first lifeboat was released an hour after the iceberg struck
It may seem like common sense for a ship to immediately release safety lifeboats upon structure penetrate. The Titanic, however, did not release its first lifeboat until an entire hour gone.
Only 28 people boarded the first lifeboat
But it had the space to carry 65 people. It was one of only 20 lifeboats, though Titanic had the capacity to carry 64.
The ship carried 2,223 passengers and crew
Of the 2,223 people aboard the Titanic, 1,517 did not survive the collision with the iceberg. The ship was not even at full capacity — it could hold more than 3,500 people.
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Two young brothers survived the ship without a guardian
Edmond and Michel Navratil went down in history as the only children to survive the Titanic without a parent. They were two years apart in age and were nicknamed the “Titanic Orphans.” Their father, Michel Sr., kidnapped them from their mother, whom he was no longer with, and planned to take them to America. The last anyone saw of him was when he put his children in a lifeboat.
The youngest passenger on the Titanic was 2 months old
Millvina Dean was the youngest passenger aboard the ship and the longest living survivor. She died at the age of 97 in 2009.
Two dogs were rescued from the ship
There were nine dogs aboard the ship, but only two survived — a Pomeranian and a Pekinese.
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The ship sank very fast
The ship broke in two, and the bow sank to the sea bottom at an estimated 35 mph, and the stern descended at an estimated 50 mph.
The Titanic took two hours and 40 minutes to sink
In its first report of the tragedy, The New York Times ran a headline that said the Titanic sank four hours after hitting the iceberg. Little did the public know that the ship sank at a much faster pace.
Musicians played for more than two hours as the ship went down
It’s unclear which songs were played as the ship went down, but one can only imagine how somber the atmosphere must have been. In the movie “Titanic,” one of the songs played was “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” which is believed to be the last song played on the ship in real life.
The ship slipped beneath the ocean’s surface at 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912
The Titanic, believed to be unsinkable at the time, is one of the biggest disasters in commercial maritime history.
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Only a few hundred bodies were recovered after the crash
Rescue ships recovered only 306 bodies from the icy water. Many of the deceased were taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
It took over seven decades to find the ship’s ruins
The remains of the Titanic were not found until 1985, about 73 years after the vessel sunk. Dr. Robert D. Ballard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts and a team of American and French researchers discovered the wreckage with the help of a robot submarine.
The Titanic lies 12,600 feet submerged
The ruins of the Titanic lie nearly 2.5 miles beneath the surface of the sea, approximately 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. The ship broke in two, and the gap between the bow and the stern is about 2,000 feet in the ocean bed.
A specific bacteria is slowly consuming the wreckage
What remains of the Titanic at the bottom of the ocean will eventually be entirely eaten away by rust-eating bacteria.
Milton Hershey was supposed to be on the Titanic
Milton Hershey, the man who invented the famed Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar, reserved his stateroom on the RMS Titanic. Business took priority, and Hershey and his wife missed out on the outing.
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Three feature films were made about the Titanic
Jean Negulesco’s “Titanic” was made in 1953, Roy Baker’s “A Night to Remember” was made in 1958, and James Cameron’s “Titanic” was made in 1997.
11 Titanic ships could be built with the “Titanic” film revenue
It’s speculated that the Titanic would cost nearly $200 million to build today. James Cameron’s adaptation of the Titanic grossed over $2.2 billion worldwide, which would be enough to fund the construction of nearly 11 new Titanic ships.
Source: USA today
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