RMS Titanic was a passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK to New York City, US. The sinking of Titanic caused the deaths of 1,514 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.
The Titanic was built at a cost of around £1.5 million, in Belfast, for the White Star shipping line. She was the largest passenger steamer of her day, at over 46,000 tons, and supposedly the most up to date.
After the RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg on the night of April 14, 1912, the ship plummeted about 12,000 feet to a watery grave on the seabed of the North Atlantic. Less than a third of the ship's 2,240 passengers and crew would survive the night.
Titanic, the largest vessel in the world when she entered service in 1912, was neither the finest nor the most technically advanced of her day. Size, seldom an indication that something is better, was the only record she held.
The Titanic was almost three football fields long and one football field wide. From the bottom (or hull) to the top of its smokestacks, it was 175 feet tall, about as tall as a 17-story building.
14 years prior to the Titanic tragedy, Morgan Robertson wrote a novel called Futility. This fictitious book told the story of the largest ship ever built, hitting an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean on a cold April night. The ship (named Titan) and the real ship Titanic were similar in design and their circumstances were extraordinarily alike.
The water was 28 Degrees Fahernheit. This is far too cold for any mammal to survive in for any length of time. Most of the people in the water froze to death in a matter of 10-15 minutes.
The $7,500,000 (now $400,000,000) Titanic could hold a maximum of 3,547 people, but had 2,223 aboard when tragedy struck four days into its maiden voyage. There were six warnings of icebergs before the collision and it took 160 minutes for the boat to sink into water that was negative two degrees centigrade.
Scientists recently arrived at a new theory that the full moon months before could be to blame for the collision, which killed about 1,500 people.
Quoting astronomer Donald Olson of Texas State University-San Marcos, National Geographic's Richard A. Lovett wrote, "That full moon, on January 4, 1912, may have created unusually strong tides that sent a flotilla of icebergs southward—just in time for Titanic's maiden voyage."
By the turn of the twentieth century, Atlantic crossings were very big business indeed. Western Europe and North America were social and economic power-houses, divided by a large and inhospitable ocean.
Although the great liners of the period are best remembered for their 'luxury' and their wealthy passengers, it is important to underline that immigrant traffic was in fact their greatest single source of income. In this way the Titanic, for all its reputation for opulence, was both economically and officially an emigrant ship.