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The RMS Titanic sank in the Atlantic Ocean after colliding with an iceberg on April 15, 1912. 1,500 people died because the ship didn’t have enough life jackets or lifeboats for its passengers and staff. Survivors have shared their experiences and the chaos that ensued.

We’ve collected surprising and chilling facts about the Titanic and the fatal night it sank in the Atlantic Ocean.

Largest Ship

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The Titanic, at the time, was the world’s largest passenger ship. It was 882 feet long!

Burned Coal for Fuel

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The Titanic wasn’t very environmentally friendly. It would burn 600 tons of coal per day to make it run. The ash from the coal would be dropped into the ocean.

The Ritz Hotel

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The first class passengers were able to enjoy a luxurious experience aboard the Titanic. The Ritz Hotel in London designed the interior rooms and lounges. They even had a kennel for dogs!

Plenty of Liquor

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The first class passengers surely enjoyed their liquor. According to records, there were 1,500 bottles of wine, 20,000 bottles of beer, and 8,000 cigars on the ship.

The Grand Staircase

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The Grand Staircase is one of the most prominent features of the Titanic. It was made from oak and bronze. You can see a replica of the staircase in Branson, Missouri at the Titanic Museum.

Identical Staircase

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The Titanic’s sister ship, The Olympic, also had a Grand Staircase that was identical to the Titanic’s staircase. Now, the banisters are in the White Swan Hotel in Alnwick.

The Smokestacks

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Only three of the smokestacks on the ship worked. The fourth was added because the designers felt it looked better and more impressive.

Women Were the Minority

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Only 23 out of 885 crewmembers were women on the Titanic. They worked as maids and interacted with the first class passengers.


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The musicians aboard the Titanic didn’t have an easy job. They had to memorize 352 songs so the first class passengers can request any song in the book that was provided to them when they arrived. The musicians went down with the ship, still playing their instruments.

Last Supper

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The last meal served on the Titanic consisted of ten courses. Too bad the passengers weren’t aware that this would be their last meal on the Titanic.

Milton S. Hershey

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Milton S. Hershey, the creator of Hershey’s chocolates, was supposed to be aboard the Titanic but he decided to take another ship at the last second. It’s a good thing he did.

Millvina Dean

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Millvina Dean was the youngest survivor on the Titanic. She was just two months old when the ship went down. She lived to be 97 years old and lived in Wichita, Kansas. Unfortunately, her father did not make it off the boat.

Surviving on Whiskey

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The ship’s baker, Charles Joughin, survived for two hours in the water after the ship went down by drinking a ton of whiskey. This kept him from getting hypothermia.

No Safety Drills

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The day the ship sank was the day they scheduled a safety drill for the lifeboats, but the captain canceled it. Nobody knows the reason for the cancelation.

John Jacob Aster IV

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John Jacob Aster IV was the wealthiest person on board. He was worth a whopping $85 million. Sadly, he did not survive. His family did manage to get on Lifeboat 4 and survived.

Fake News

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The newspapers misinformed the public when the Titanic sank. They first said that everyone survived. They later reported the rising number of fatalities.

The First Film

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The first movie about the Titanic was actually released in 1912, just a month after the tragedy. It was titled Saved from the Titanic and starred Dorothy Gibson. Gibson was an actual survivor on the Titanic.

Benjamin Guggenheim

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Benjamin Guggenheim was a wealthy American businessman who was also a victim of the Titanic. It’s said that he dressed in his best clothes and sat on one of the deck chairs smoking a cigar with his friend, Victor Giglio, as the ship sank.


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The watchman saw the iceberg just 37 seconds before the ship ran into it. The captain tried to steer clear of it, but ice under the water was much bigger than what they saw on the surface.

Captain Edward Smith

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Captain Edward Smith went down with his ship. His last words were, “Well boys, you’ve done your duty and done it well. I ask no more of you. I release you. You know the rule of the sea. It’s every man for himself now, and God bless you.”

Iceberg Warnings

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There were many warnings of icebergs throughout the Titanic’s journey. Captain Smith didn’t take the warnings seriously, though. Instead, his goal was to get to America as quickly as possible and kept ordering the ship to go faster.

Breaking in Half

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Since the Titanic was so big, it actually split in half at 2:20 am on April 15, 1912. This means half of the passengers plummeted into the ocean unexpectedly.

Not All Bodies Recovered

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While 1,500 passengers perished, only 306 bodies were recovered from the ocean. The bodies were brought to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for identification.

Finding the Wreckage

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The remains of the Titanic weren’t discovered until 1985. It’s located 370 miles from the coast of Newfoundland. It lies 12,500 feet deep. Deep Ocean Expeditions offered trips for $59,000 per person to go and visit the Titanic, but these were stopped in 2012.

Refusing a Lifeboat

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Father Thomas Byles, a priest on the Titanic, refused a spot on a lifeboat twice. He stayed on the ship to hear passengers’ confessions and so he could pray for them.

Fired for Surviving

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Masabumi Hosono was the only Japanese passenger on the Titanic. After surviving the sinking, he was fired from his job because he was considered a coward. The Japanese culture thought he should have gone down with the ship.

Design Choice

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While there were only 20 lifeboats on the Titanic, there was room for 64, which was more than enough to save everyone on the ship. However, they decided that all 64 boats would make the deck look cluttered so they only put 20.


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The Titanic was supposedly unsinkable. Even after crashing into the iceberg, people believed it would stay afloat. They didn’t launch the first lifeboat until an hour after the collision.

Third Class Passengers

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If you weren’t a first class passenger, you were stowed in the bottom of the ship in a tight confined space. Out of 700 passengers, there were only two bathtubs they could use. The crewmembers even locked the gates to the upper decks while the Titanic was sinking so passengers couldn’t get out.

Dedicated Engineers

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Every engineer aboard the ship went down with it. They worked to keep the power running for as long as they could. It wasn’t until the ship split in half that the power finally went out.


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Due to the Titanic’s ultimate luxury status, it was a popular choice for newlywed’s honeymoons. There were 13 newlywed couples on board. We don’t know if all of them survived or not.

Bringing Titanic to the Surface

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Researchers considered bringing the Titanic wreckage to the surface in order to study it. The cost would be high and the reality of it wouldn’t work out so well.

Til Death Do Us Part

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Isidor Straus and his wife Ida were passengers on the Titanic. Isidor refused a spot on the lifeboat next to his wife so women and children could board. Ida got off of the boat to be with her husband. They both died in the accident.

Ignored Distress Calls

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The SS Californian was just 20 miles away from the Titanic when it started to sink. The operator on the ship had gone to bed, therefore ignoring the Titanic’s distress calls. It was the Carpathia, which was 58 miles away, that came to help.


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One of the passengers on board took the trip to get over his fear of being on a boat. In 1871 he had survived a ship’s sinking. Unfortunately, he died in this accident.

The Wreckage Is Disappearing

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There isn’t much more time to research the wreckage of the Titanic. A rust-eating bacteria is consuming the ship and it’s predicted the wreckage won’t be there in the next 20 years.

The Smell of the Air

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Governess Elizabeth Shutes, a passenger on the Titanic, went around telling people that the smell of the air made her nervous. She compared it to when she had been in an ice cave.

Fortune Teller’s Warning

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William Edward Minahan, a doctor from Wisconsin, visited a fortune teller before his trip on the Titanic. She had predicted that he would die during the ship’s journey in a terrible accident. Obviously, he didn’t believe her and boarded the ship. He died in the sinking.

The Fatal Iceberg

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Researchers studying the Titanic were obsessed with the iceberg. They concluded that it that broken off of Greenland.

The Moon’s Power

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The moon was supposedly very close to the earth on January 4, 1912. Since the moon controls the tide, it’s been theorized that the tides were stronger and made many icebergs move south right into the Titanic’s path.

Ocean’s Stillness

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Passengers noted how still the ocean was the night of the sinking. This contributed to the sinking of the ship because watchmen couldn’t see waves lapping against the iceberg.

Compartment Failure

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The Titanic had multiple watertight compartments in case of an accident like this. However, six of the compartments filled up due to spillage from other compartments. If only four had filled, the Titanic would have survived.

Wrong Signals

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Crewmembers didn’t signal the right distress call when the ship hit the iceberg. Instead of “distress” they signaled “navigation problems.”

Recovered Perfume

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Passenger Adolphe Saalfeld was a perfume salesman and brought rare perfume samples with him on board. He survived the sinking and eventually received his perfume samples back after researchers explored the wreckage decades later.

Greedy First Class

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Wealthy passengers Lady Duff Gordon and her husband have been said to bribe the crewmembers to let their lifeboat go with only 12 passengers on board. However, after an investigation the couple was cleared and found of no wrongdoing. They weren’t the only first-class passengers to try and bribe the crewmembers that night.

Life-Saving Jump

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Rhonda Abbott was a third-class passenger. She and her two sons jumped from the ship into the water in an effort to survive. Her sons died, but she survived. She was the only woman to be pulled from the water alive.

Sharing Whiskey

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Alice Johnson recalls pulling an Italian immigrant onto their lifeboat from the water after he announced that he had a bottle of whiskey with him.

Dog Survivors

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Three out of twelve dogs survived the Titanic’s sinking. Two of them were Pomeranians and the other was a Pekingese.

U.S. Senate Intervenes

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When the U.S. Senate heard what happened to the Titanic, they made it a law that every ship must have enough lifeboats to carry every passenger and crewmember.

The Titanic II

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Millionaire Clive Palmer proposed building an exact replica of the Titanic and calling it Titanic II. Construction began in 2012 and it is supposed to set sail in 2018. The ship will take the exact route of the original Titanic too.