The lifeline of RMS Titanic was merely five days (10th April – 15th April, 1912), but the aftermath of its sinking in the maiden voyage has been a part of mass psyche for decades. The last and, perhaps, the biggest push was James Cameron’s epoch-making 1997 film Titanic that re-introduced this mega ocean liner with a fictional twist of a love tale between a broke artist and a rich girl with a heart of gold.
The disaster and the immensely successful film apart, RMS Titanic was perhaps one of the pioneers of luxury sea travel that led the way for numerous high-end ocean liners in the future. At 269 m in length with the capacity of carrying over 2000 people, Titanic was nothing less than a wonder back in its days. For the record, the largest passenger vessel of current times, MS Harmony of the Seas is just 93 metres longer than Titanic!
Imagine a passenger ship of its magnitude back in the time when sea voyage was primarily reserved for trade purpose and war strategies. Sad as it may sound, but the tragic and ironic fall (it was called unsinkable when launched) of Titanic made it a subject of curiosity for all.
Here, the most mind-blowing facts about Titanic, the ship that became a part of folklore despite a strikingly short life span:
1. Titanic used around 600 tonnes of coal a day, which was hand-shovelled into its furnaces by a team of 176 men. Almost 100 tonnes of ash was ejected into the sea every 24 hours.
2. There were 20,000 bottles of beer on board, 1,500 bottles of wine and 8,000 cigars. This was, however, for the use of only first-class passengers.
3. The Ritz hotel inwas the main inspiration behind Titanic’s interiors.
4. A floating city in itself, Titanic even had its own newspaper called the Atlantic Daily Bulletin.
5. Did you know that there were 246 injuries and 2 deaths recorded during Titanic’s 26 month long construction in Belfast?
6. Just a hint at its magnitude, it took 20 horses to carry the main anchor of the ship!
7. First-class passengers were given abook containing 352 songs. Musicians on board were required to know them all, in case requests were made.
8. Remember the scene in 1997 film that shows the musicians playing till the ship goes down? Well, it was a tribute to those musicians on board, who actually continued to play music for over two hours after the ship hit the iceberg.
9. We all know that Titanic didn’t have enough lifeboats to accommodate all the passengers. But it was almost ironic that a lifeboat drill was scheduled to take place onboard Titanic on April 14, 1912 which was cancelled due to unknown reasons. The ship hit the doomed iceberg a few hours later.
10. All the available photos and paintings show four funnels on Titanic but in reality only three of them were functional. The last one was added to beautify the ship!
11. Many believe that had there been a binocular in the observation deck; the tragedy could have been averted. Well, legend has it that the ship was carrying a binocular but no one had the key to the box which contained it!
12. There was a book with the story strikingly similar to that of the Titanic, a massive passenger ship, hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic, not enough lifeboats and going down with over half of its passengers. The ship in the book was named The Titan. The catch? Well, it was written in 1898, about 14 years before the actually tragedy!
13. The wreck of Titanic was discovered in 1985 and lies 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, around 12,500 ft below the surface.
14. The last supper served to first-class passengers consisted of 11 courses.
15. A conspiracy theory suggests that Titanic never sank! It was her sister ship, Olympic that sank on that fateful night and it was all done to settle insurance claimed.