I guess most of you reading this article of mine must have watched James Cameron’s legendary blockbuster ‘Titanic’ featuring Kate Winslet and Leonardo Dicaprio and ended up being a little emotional since the love story must have touched your hearts. Also the song ‘every night in my dreams’ continues to be an age-old favorite of many. Well no denying to the fact that the movie is far more well known than the actual disaster which happened almost 100 hundred years back. Yes, you heard it right. Back in 1912, the RMS Titanic ship sank in the icy North Atlantic Ocean taking down 1500 people with it. The only difference being that in reality it is a lot more beyond romance and love that you see in the movie. It’s been around a century and still there are certain facts lying unknown which most of us don’t know about why the ship sank. So here we have a list which highlights what actually happened on the night of April 14, 1912 when the ship hit an iceberg and sank within a two and half hours.
10. THE SILVER SCREEN STAR SURVIVES
Those were the days when silent movies were in fashion. Dorothy Gibson was one of the big names in those days who had worked with people like Charlie Chaplin. Her movie ‘The Lucky Hold Up’ became a blockbuster hit on April 11, 1912 when she was on the ship. She was a first class passenger on the ship and it was her fate or you might say destiny that among the 1500 people who perished, she survived to tell the tale. Also few days later, there began the shooting of a movie named ‘Saved from the Titanic’ and she was supposed to star it because she could make the movie look more realistic. She also wore the same clothes that she wore on the ship and earned a lot of fame after the movie released.
9. SINKING OF THE ‘TITANIC’ IS NOT THE WORST MARINE DISASTER
Yes, the first thought that would cross your mind is, ‘What could be worse than this?’ No deny, Titanic was a huge tragedy but still far behind the worst marine disaster in history. It was actually a German ship named Wilhelm Gustoff which when sank led to a wider calamity, because it was overcrowded with people during one of the attacks. The reason why not many know about this is simply because nobody ever made a movie like ‘Titanic’ based on this disaster. Try estimating the number of people who died in this accident. Well, let me tell you. It is far beyond the figure you would guess. It was 9400 people, out of which 4000 were young children. So now you know where does Titanic stand.
8. DEAD BODIES IN THE SEA
After the whole tragedy occurred, 306 bodies were discovered out of which 119 were badly damaged. That is not the end of the story. Several dead bodies were in such a condition that it was difficult to bring them out. Hence it was decided to bury them in the sea itself. Attempts were made to identify each one of them but could not be possible. It must be hard to believe but coffins were supplied along with tons of ice inside the water to bury the dead bodies because they could not be carried till the shore.
7. TITANIC WAS NOT A BIG DEAL BACK THEN
For us, when we see the Titanic tragedy it obviously seems a big fact to us. But to be honest enough, it was not a big thing in those days. The makers of the ship never claimed it to be ‘unsinkable’. In fact nobody actually cared about the ship’s maiden voyage. The prime focus was on ‘Olympic’. No, no we are not talking here about the Olympic Games. Olympic was another ship which was the sister of Titanic. Also its voyage from Southampton to New York was in limelight. And the harsh truth is that when Titanic left the British shores there were no footages of it. The situation was such that when the media got to know about the sinking of the ship, they had no images of its take-off to put up before everyone. So they used images of ‘Olympic’ because it resembled ‘Titanic’ to a great extent.
6. ‘BILL’ AFTER DEATH
Well, I don’t know how should we take this but from my perspective it is something really weird. After the Titanic sank, the eight member orchestra team of the ship went down though only three dead bodies could be discovered out of which one was of John Hume Law. After around one week Hume’s father received a bill from an employment firm in Liverpool, England which had hired his son for the job in the ship stating that, “Sorry to hear the tragic death of your son, here is the bill of 5 shillings and 4 pennies, the cost of his uniform”. Yes, this is the orchestra team which you see in the movie as well, who kept playing the tune of ‘Nearer my God to Thee’ till the ship went down.
5. REAL HERO ON THE SHIP
No you guessed it wrong. It was not Leonardo Dicaprio, but somebody else. The big question is who he was and what did he do. Well it was second officer Charles Herbert Lightoller who was the most senior officer to survive. He took charge of a lifeboat which had 30 people in it and had overturned. In such a situation he did not panic, but brought another rescue vessel through which people were taken to the shore. That sounds quite heroic, right? Not only this, he was also with the British Navy in both World War I as well as II. And during his entire stay on the ship he tried his level best to save as many lives as he could.
4. ‘MUMMY’ INSIDE THE SHIP
Among the various reasons behind why the ship sank, here comes one assumption put forward by the Romans. They believe that the mummy of Priestess of Amun was present inside the ship which caused ill fate. However the interesting fact is that historical facts say that there was no mummy inside the ship neither as a cargo nor as a passenger. At the same it is also said that there was a journalist who carried it with him in the ship. He had earlier kept it at a friend’s place who in his report said that till the time the mummy was in his home it brought sickness and death to everyone around.
3. A BOOK ABOUT THIS INCIDENT WAS WRITTEN 14 YEARS BEFORE IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED
Author Morgan Robertson wrote the book ‘Futility or the Wreck of the Titan’ in 1898. Exactly 14 years before the real tragedy took place. The content of the book was found to be very much similar to the one which happened in 1912. Instances like, the ship mentioned in the book and the Titanic both sank after hitting an iceberg. There were insufficient lifeboats in both the cases and large number of people died. This reflects the power of human imagination and how realistic can it become. At times we also experience little things which we actually think in our subconscious minds but they come out to be a mere truth and when that happens in reality you wonder, this is something which you had already thought of. True, isn’t it? Same was the case with Titanic.
2. MORE COULD HAVE SURVIVED
The huge Titanic ship had the capacity to bear 3547 people but during its maiden voyage there were only 2223 aboard. As it was going through the Atlantic Ocean there were six warnings of icebergs before the real disaster occurred. Also it took an exact time of 160 minutes to sink the ship at a temperature of minus two degrees. Out of the total number of passengers, only 31.6 percent could be saved, though many more could be saved. Experts believe around more than 50% of passengers could have been brought to the shore. The very first lifeboat which went to rescue people had a capacity of 65 but took only 28.
1. ONE KEY MIGHT HAVE SAVED MANY LIVES
When the crew list was prepared, David Blair, a second officer was removed and somebody else was appointed in his place. Blair obviously knew about the ship but still less experienced than Henry Wilde, who was a senior officer of ‘Olympic’ which was another big ship. But still before the ship began its voyage Blair was asked to give important advises about the details of the ship to the newly recruited officer. He did the same but forgot to hand over the key of the locker which had the binoculars. Had the binocular been with him on the ship, the iceberg could have been detected sooner. But the contrast happened. The crew only had 37 seconds left to react before they hit the iceberg and not much could be done in such a less span of time.