Weird History

Everything Historians Think Went Wrong That Led To The Sinking Of The 'Titanic'

On April 15, 1912, one of the 20th century's most famous and state-of-the-art steamships hit an iceberg and sank in the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean, taking around 1,500 lives with it. Despite this tragic ending, the story of the Titanic captured the imaginations of many, inspiring myths, artwork, books, and movies. The story is always the same: An enormous ship thought to be the epitome of human accomplishment collides with an iceberg at sea and sinks in less than three hours. While this story is widely accepted, the nuances of why the Titanic hit the iceberg and exactly how this led to its rapid demise remains something of a mystery.

Numerous conspiracy theories surround the Titanic disaster, involving everything from insurance fraud to a mummy's curse, but many historians and researchers have presented hypotheses explaining the Titanic's sinking using historical evidence. Both before and after Robert Ballard discovered the Titanic wreckage in 1985, experts have theorized and tried to explain what really went wrong that fateful night. In July 2000, courts ruled that"RMS Titanic Inc. could not cut into the wreckage or detach any part of it," making the possibility of studying the ship's remains more difficult. Twenty years later, however, a federal judge approved RMS Titanic Inc.'s request to salvage the radio used to call for help, prompting an expedition that would require divers to remove a part of the ship's wreckage.

Although there likely isn't one single reason for the disaster - and the true explanation may never be known - it's interesting to consider how many possible problems compiled to send the Titanic to the bottom of the ocean.