On 15 April 1912, Titanic sank into the dark depths of the Atlantic claiming 1,517 souls. Little did people know then, that the tragedy would be remembered even after 102 years after it occurred.
Known as one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in modern history, the RMS Titanic sank on the fateful day after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK to New York City, US.
The facts surrounding the tragedy continue to inspire the imagination of directors, artists and musicians with the 1997 movie, "Titanic" starring Lionardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, often considered as one of the biggest masterpieces in Hollywood.
On the National Titanic Remembrance Day 2014, we recollect top 15 fascinating facts regarding the journey and the ship that were probably unknown until now:
1. In 1912, The RMS Titanic was the largest man-made moving object on Earth, measuring 269 meters in length. Right now, the largest passenger vessel is MS Allure of the Seas, at 362 meters.
2. It is said that a massive team of 176 men used to shovel around 600 tonnes of coal a day for the ship to use as fuel.?
3. The ship had its own board newspaper called the 'Atlantic Daily Bulletin' and seemed to have everything on board including facilities including gym, pool, Turkish bath, a kennel for first class dogs and also a squash court.
4. It is said that originally, a lifeboat drill was scheduled to take place on board on the day the ship hit the iceberg. However, for an unknown reason, Captain Smith reportedly canceled the drill. Many people believe that if the drill had taken place, many lives could have been saved.
5. Bizarrely enough, after lookouts sounded the alert, the officers on the ship had only 37 seconds to react before the Titanic hit the iceberg.
6. Despite numerous other facilities that the ship had, there were no enough lifeboats to save everyone on board.
7. While the ship was luxurious for First Class Passengers, the third class had only two bathtubs to be used by more than 700 passengers.
8. When the Titanic began sending out distress signals, another boat called Californian was the closest ship, but did not respond until it was too late to help.
9. According to the rules, women and children were to be sent into lifeboats first. More importantly, there were not enough lifeboats for everyone on board the Titanic. Even then, it was surprising how two dogs made into the lifeboats and were saved out of nine dogs.
10. The Titanic was also a Royal Mail Ship, responsible for delivering mail for British postal service. It is said that at that time, the ship had over 3,400 sacks of mails. That means, there were over seven million individual pieces of letters or mails.
11. John Jacob Astor IV was the richest passenger on board, with a net worth of around $85m. One legend suggests that when the ship hit the iceberg, he joked with a waiter inside saying: "I asked for ice, but this is ridiculous". He went down with the ship.
12. Another notable victim is said to be an American businessman Benjamin Guggenheim. It is said that when the ship hit the iceberg, he and his servant changed into their evening wear saying: "We've dressed up in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen." It is said that they were drinking brandy and smoking cigars before the tragedy occurred.
13. Numerous people turned out to be lucky for, they had tickets for the journey, but did not actually sail. Among them was Milton S Hershey, founder of the chocolate firm, Guglielmo Marconi and Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, who died in RMS Lusitania only three years after Titanic sank.
14. The last surviving passenger of Titanic, Millvina Dean, died on 31 May 2009 at the age of 97, was only two months old when Titanic sank.
15. It is said that the iceberg which hit Titanic was around 100 feet tall and came from a glacier in Greenland.
Photo credit: Wiki Commons/F.G.O. Stuart