On May 7, 1915, the RMS Lusitania, a British passenger liner, sank after a German U-boat torpedoed it. Over a thousand people died in the catastrophe, making it one of the most dramatic, contentious moments in the first year of World War I. Along with the sinking of the Titanic, the loss of the Lusitania is one of the 20th century's most significant maritime disasters.
Germany and the United Kingdom were enemy nations during World War I, and the Atlantic Ocean - especially the waters around the United Kingdom - became a war zone. As a result, German submarines (known as U-boats) patrolled the waters to bring down the ships they deemed threats - and one apparently saw the Lusitania as enough of a threat to fire on it without warning. Politically, the sinking had very real ramifications and is often cited as ushering the United States into World War I.
More than a century after its shocking demise, the ship still sits at the bottom of the ocean. The story of the Lusitania wreck is just as compelling as the story of its sinking. Researchers continue to search the wreckage for clues to the ship's final minutes and what exactly happened after the German torpedo tore into it.