On April 15, 1912, the ship hailed as "unsinkable" sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean, taking the lives of 1,500 passengers and crew. Most people know the story of the RMS Titanic. It's one of history's most well-known tragedies told over and over again in movies, television, and books - and whose legacy has remained a part of the general zeitgeist.
Many mistakes were made leading up to the ship's ultimate demise: the ship's size was overambitious, there were engineering issues, and many people made incredibly poor choices when the Titanic was sinking. But it's easy to criticize the decisions individuals made during an event that happened more than a century ago. We have the luxury of time and distance from the tragedy that allows us to look at it rationally; information about the ship's structural deficiencies that allow us to evaluate the hazards; and the knowledge that the night would end in disaster. But, according to many firsthand accounts, many passengers had very little knowledge of how dire the situation was until it was too late. The ship's crew ordered evacuation in an orderly manner and passengers remained calm. But if we were one of the 2,229 people on board the ship on that fateful night, would we have acted any differently?
Every choice listed below is based upon actual decisions individuals made, possibilities based upon circumstances of the night, or choices people made in fictional representations. Furthermore, the choices available to any one person (and ultimately the chances of survival) were dependent on a person's circumstaces: Were they a man or woman? Were they a child or an adult? Were they part of the crew or a passenger? Did they have the money to be a member of first class or were they a part of the third class?
But that leaves one final question: Considering your own personal background and disposition, what would you have actually done if you were on the Titanic as it was sinking?
Do Your Best To Avoid The Propeller
Look Around For A Less Crowded Evacuation Point In Hopes You Won't Need To Wait In Queue For A Life Boat
Get On The Life Boats Without A Problem
Make A Raft Out Of Luggage
Get To The Highest Point Of The Ship So You're In The Water At The Last Possible Point
Pray To Whichever God You Pray To
Selflessly Assist Women And Children On To The Life Boats
Try To Contact Another Ship Until The End, Hoping Someone Will Come Save You
Preemptively Hold Onto Anything Bolted To The Ship
Get Drunk And Forget The Horrors Of The Current Situation
Grab A Gun. You May Need To Keep The Peace Or Stop Men From Taking Seats On The Life Boat
Politely Ask If You Can Get Onto A Life Boat And Step Away If They Say No
Start Cursing At The Iceberg
Panic, Scream, And Shout
Raid First Class And Party Like You're Rich
Push And Shove Everyone Else Out Of The Way, Forcing Yourself Onto A Life Boat
Jump Off The 'Titanic,' Since You Think You're More Likely To Survive Away From The Dangers Of A Sinking Ship
Go Into The Ship's Quarters And Direct People On How To Get To The Life Boats
Swear Vengeance On Icebergs
Pretend To Be A Woman To Get On The Life Boats
Raid The Kitchen Pantries And Make Yourself A Final Meal
Lie Uselessly On A Door
Play Music So Everyone Else Can Enjoy Their Time And Stay Calm While Sinking
Tell The Band To Shut Up - It's Neither The Time Nor The Place
Kidnap A Child And Pretend They're Your Own In Order To Get A Spot On A Life Boat