The Titanic – Facts You Have Never Heard Of

titanic_sailed_at_night_by_danielpandu-d5qht16

There are some things that everyone knows about when it comes to the Titanic. Everyone knows it was a really big ship that sank on its maiden voyage, and a lot of people ended up dying in the middle of the night. Here is a list of facts about the Titanic that few people know about, and some of them are pretty surprising.

 

Fact #1 – The Titanic sank because the weather was perfect.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of normal weather occurrences that sailors use to navigate safely through the water like haze, wind, temperature, and the condition out on the water.  The night of April 14th, things were too perfect out on the water, and even the officers on the bridge remarked how clear and calm things were, which was a bit of a concern for them.

Fact #2 – There was no moon that night.  

Another major factor for navigation is the moon, and people do not realize just how much light the moon does provide until it is not there. The night of April 14th was moonless, and the lack of light from high above was a  very big hindrance because it made the night even darker than normal.

Fact #3 – The lifeboat drill was cancelled.  

titanc-lifeboatEven back then everyone new that lifeboat drills were important, and there actually was a lifeboat drill planned for Sunday, the day that the Titanic struck the iceberg. However, that Sunday, the weather was starting to get very cold, and because the passengers were clearly chilled, Smith decided that the weather was simply too cold to have the lifeboat drill so he decided to cancel it. One cannot help but wonder what would have happened if the Titanic actually had the lifeboat drill, perhaps the passengers would have been more cooperative, and maybe more lives could have been saved.

Fact #4 – There was a coal fire in one of the Titanic boiler rooms.

titanic-boiler-roomThis is a little known Titanic fact, but there was a coal fire that had been burning for two weeks before the Titanic set sail. People may not know this, but coal is very susceptible to spontaneously combusting. The coal and the dust it generates are extremely flammable, so it is quite common for the coal to begin to burn. Both before and during the voyage, the coal was being hosed down to try and put the fire out, and to also keep more fires from happening. Finally, on Sunday April 14th, it was reported to Captain Smith that the fire in one of the coal bunkers had finally been put out. Many people think that the fire weakened the bulkhead in the area, but the steel was still relatively strong despite the fire.

Fact #5 – Binoculars are not used to spot ice.  

One common misconception about the night the Titanic sank is the fact that the lookouts Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee did not have binoculars up in the crow’s nest. However, despite the fact the two men had no binoculars, the fact is that they are not used when it comes to spotting icebergs because the naked eye is actually much better for it then the long lenses equipped in every pair of binoculars. 

Fact #6 – The fourth funnel was not real.  

Titanic FunnelWhen the Olympic was being built, and it came time to talk about the funnels, the original design was that the ship would have just three funnels. However, when Bruce Ismay saw a photos of the Cunard Line ships the Lusitania and Mauretania, he noticed that they each had four funnels, so he decided that four funnels would also have to be used for his three big ships, Olympic, Titanic, and Gigantic because the idea of four funnels would make the passengers feel much safer being on board. However, the fourth funnel was not an outlet for the engineer room like the other three, but instead vented the steam from the kitchen. 

 

Fact #7 – The Titanic was never christened.  

bottle-champagneThough in movies, the Titanic is depicted having a bottle of champagne slammed against her hull, which is also known as a christening. However, the fact is the Titanic was never christened, which is actually considered to be very bad luck. White Star Line actually never believed in the practice of christening their ships, which might explain why a number of them met with a tragic fate. Would christening the Titanic had made a difference when it came to her fate? Sailors are extremely superstitious, and many of them felt very uneasy that the gigantic ship was not christened, and thought that it was cursing her to a tragic fate. How right those sailors were.

Previous post:

Next post: