Without a doubt, the sinking of the Titanic is one of the most famous and horrific shipwrecks in recent history. Over 100 years later, many of us are still fascinated by the events that transpired that night, partly because of the movie, but also because there’s still so much we don’t know. Most people have a general understanding of this disaster, but there may be a thing or two you didn’t know. So why not take a look at these five freaky facts about Titanic that you may not know?
1. The Iceberg May Have Been Photographed
On the early morning of April 15, 1912, the SMS Prinz Adalbert was cruising along the Atlantic Ocean when the liner’s chief steward noticed something rather strange on a nearby iceberg. There was a huge red streak along its side, almost like it was grazed by a ship’s hull. At the time, Prinz Aldalbert had no knowledge of the Titanic’s demise. The steward snapped a photo and attached a note to it detailing what he just saw including the red streak.
2. A Canceled Emergency Drill
Tragedy struck the Titanic on April 14, but it didn’t sink until a few hours later. In a twist of irony, there was an emergency lifeboat drill that was scheduled for that very same day. For some unknown reason, the drill was canceled at the last moment by Captain Smith. This was really poor timing because if the drill had gone through, then the death toll would’ve been much lower. Passengers would have also been more likely to follow the protocols and emergency procedures. And Jack and Rose probably would have had their happy ending!
3. A Frozen Pocket Watch
On that fateful night, there were 13 newlyweds on board who were celebrating their honeymoons. One of those couples, 37-year-old John Chapman and his bride 29-year-old Lizzie, almost got separated when the boats were being loaded. Due to the protocol being women and children first, combined with the insufficient number of lifeboats, Lizzie refused to leave her husband’s side and stayed with him until the ship submerged. John was recovered with his pocket watch frozen in time. As for Lizzie, she was never found.
4. A Graveyard of Shoes
In 2004, a pair of shoes were discovered lying on the bottom of the ocean floor at the wreckage site. They were lying so close together that they more than likely were the remains of a victim who had long been swept away by the ocean. This is because bones will dissolve at a relatively faster speed than any other body part, especially at this depth. The only things that remained were the victims’ clothing and other personal belongings. A photograph was taken then released to the public on April 12, 2012, the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking.
5. A Violin and a Love Story
While chaos ensued as the ship went down, Wallace Hartley, leader of the orchestra played a tune on his violin titled “Nearer My God to Thee” to comfort the frightened passengers. Two weeks later, he was discovered, along with his violin, still wrapped in his arms. Engraved on it are the words, “for Wallace on the occasion of our engagement from Maria” and the initials W.H.H. were marked on the case. After Maria’s death, her sister received the violin, who passed it on to a violin teacher, who in turn gave it to the mother of the man who discovered it in an attic in 2006. It had been in the same family for over 70 years.
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