12 Amazing Facts about The Titanic

facts about the Titanic

Many people are familiar with the story of the Titanic through the movie—one of the biggest box office earners of all time. Separating fact from fiction can be challenging when it comes to movies versus reality.

Additionally, there are fascinating facts that weren’t told in the movie and will leave you saying, “Really?”

Here is a list of amazing facts about the Titanic that will surely blow your mind!

Facts #1 Titanic


The RMS Titanic was the world’s largest passenger ship of its time. It took a little over two years to build at a whopping cost of $7,500,000. It was built in Belfast, Northern Ireland and more than 15,000 worked on its construction.

The Titanic was 269.1 meters (882 feet) in length and the largest man-made moving object on Earth. The largest passenger vessel is now Harmony of the Seas, at 362.12 meters.

The top speed of the Titanic was 23 knots (more than 26 miles per hour).

There were 840 staterooms in all, 416 in First Class, 162 in Second Class, and 262 in Third Class.

Fact #2 30 Seconds Doomed the Titanic

30 Seconds Doomed the Titanic

When the captain of the Titanic received the warning about the iceberg the ship was already doomed. If the captain had received the warning 30 seconds earlier he would have had time to turn the ship and avoid the iceberg.

The ship as it was didn’t have enough time to turn around or stop. After hitting the iceberg, it took the Titanic 2 hours and 40 minutes to sink. It took just 37 seconds between the sighting of the iceberg and the collision.

The Titanic crew had no binoculars, which may have helped them see the iceberg. They were inside a locker and the key was lost.

The iceberg was around 100 feet tall and came from a glacier in Greenland. It began its journey somewhere around 1000 BCE

Read More: Top 10 Interesting Facts About Bermuda Triangle

Fact #3 The Scheduled Lifeboat Drill

Titanic lifeboats

One of the most tragic facts about the Titanic is that a lifeboat drill was scheduled for the day that the Titanic hit that fatal iceberg. If a lifeboat drill had been performed there is a chance that the crew and passengers would have reached their lifeboats in a more timely and organized manner.

Alas, the lifeboat drill was canceled by the captain. No one knows why the drill was canceled and at this point, it is likely that we will never know.

Fact #4 The Number of Lifeboats

Lifeboats in the Titanic

The Titanic was capable of carrying 64 lifeboats, a number which would have been sufficient for the ship’s maximum capacity of 3,547 people.

Alexander Carlisle, the chief designer of Titanic planned 48 lifeboats but the number of lifeboats was reduced to make the decks look less cluttered.

The Titanic carried only 20 lifeboats: 2 wooden cutters, 14 standard wooden lifeboats, and 4 collapsible canvas lifeboats. These boats could accommodate only 1178 people, which was only one-third of Titanic’s total capacity. Strangely, that was more than the legally required.

Out of 20 lifeboats on board, only 18 could be launched and two left just floated away. Moreover, most of the lifeboats were not full and a good amount of them were half full.

Fact #5 The Fourth Smokestack

facts about the titanic

Everyone looks at a ship and judges its impressiveness by the number of smokestacks it has, right? Well, the Titanic had three working smokestacks, the fourth was added to make the ship look more impressive.

While it might seem pointless to add a smokestack just to make a ship look more impressive the designers did put it to use. The fourth smokestack was used to ventilate parts of the ship below including the kitchen and smoking room. There is also a famed later that led to the top of the smokestack and in a picture of the Titanic at Queenstown, a stoker can be seen peeking over the top of the funnel.

The height of the funnels was 81.5 feet above the deck.

The ship burned around 825 tonnes of coal a day – hand shoveled into its furnaces by a team of 176 men. Almost 100 tonnes of ash was dumped into the sea every 24 hours.

Read More: 15 Interesting Facts about Friends

Fact #6 No Lives Lost

Titanic - New York times news

Original news reports of the Titanic’s fate reported that the ship was sinking but that no lives were lost. People wanted to be optimistic and the newspapers wanted to support that.

The British newspaper London Daily Mail reported “Titanic Sunk, No Lives Lost” in their initial April 16, 1912 story. Other newspapers reported the same, like the one below.

The New York Times was the first newspaper to hint that people may have been lost but they were about 260 people off in their estimates and they only declared those “probably” perished. The New York Times devoted 75 pages to coverage of the Titanic in the first week after the disaster.

Fact #7 The California

facts about titanic

The California, another ship, was close to the Titanic when distress signals were sent out over the wireless radios.  The operator for the California had already gone to bed. 

When the flares from the Titanic were seen the captain of the California was awoken but he gave no orders.  It is thought that if California had responded more survivors would have been rescued.

Fact #8 Captain Edward Smith

Titanic Captain Edward Smith

Edward Smith, the ship’s captain, also went down with the vessel. 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.” A statue of him can be seen in Lichfield, Staffordshire.

The second officer of the Titanic, who survived by swimming from the sinking ship to a capsized raft, later in life sailed his civilian craft to Dunkirk and helped evacuate over 130 men.

Not a single engineer, out of the 30, made it off the Titanic: they stayed and kept the power on so others could escape.

The chief baker on board the Titanic, Charles Joughin, was one of the most famed survivors of the Titanic. He survived 2 whole hours in the water without any ill effects from the freezing water. It is rumored that he survived the water in part due to the copious amounts of alcohol that he drank.

The co-owner of Macy’s died on the Titanic. He refused to get in a lifeboat before women and children, and his wife refused to leave without him. They were last seen standing on the deck, arm in arm.

John Jacob Astor IV was the richest passenger on board, with a net worth of around $85m (approximately $2bn today), and went down with the ship. One legend claims that after the ship hit the iceberg he quipped to a waiter: “I asked for ice, but this is ridiculous”.

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Fact #9 Masabumi Hosono – The Disgraced Titanic Survivor

Masabumi Hosono - The Disgraced Titanic Survivor

Masabumi Hosono was a Japanese civil servant. He was the only Japanese passenger on the RMS Titanic‘s disastrous maiden voyage. He survived the ship’s sinking on 15 April 1912 but found himself condemned and ostracised by the Japanese public, press, and government for his decision to save himself rather than go down with the ship.

Honor, duty, and shame are three traits deeply rooted in Japanese culture and have been for centuries. Think of a samurai warrior losing his honor. He could restore his honor only by taking his own life, in a rather brutal way, by committing hara-kiri.

Unlike in Western cultures, where many social issues revolve around guilt and can be dismissed through legal proceedings through psychotherapy or an act of confession to a priest, the concept of shame is at the very core of Japanese culture and can’t be lifted until the person does what the community expects. That expectation often included the drastic measure of taking one’s own life.

This brings us to the case of Masabumi Hosono, whose disgrace, within the context of his native culture, was to befall him on the night of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. As records show, he was indeed the only Japanese traveler to board the fateful Titanic and survive one of the most notorious maritime tragedies of all time.

Fact #10 22% Of The Bodies

titanic sinking

Only 22% of the bodies of those who died were found.  1514 people died in the water around the Titanic which means that they only found 336 bodies.  That leaves a lot of bodies that were never found in the frigid water. 

After the Titanic’s sinking, almost all of those in the water died of cardiac arrest or other bodily reactions to freezing water, within 15–30 minutes.

Fact #11 The Joys of Bathtubs

Titanic staircase

There were over 700 third-class passengers, how many bathtubs do you think they were provided with?  For all of the third-class passengers, there was a total of two bathtubs to be shared.  Of those two bathtubs, one was for males and the other for females.

Captain Smith’s private bathtub still survives today and was found at the bottom of the ocean intact in 2011.

Read More: Why Is Kissing Important? Health Benefits of Kissing

Fact #12 The Wealth of First Class

facts about the titanic

The first-class passengers of the Titanic were very rich.  Tickets for first-class cost $2,500, which is over $57,000 today. 

Third-class passengers shared rooms with up to five other people and had two bathtubs for all 700 people, and third-class passengers were often thought of as unsophisticated by the other passengers and the designers of the Titanic. 

With all of that in mind, almost every first-class cabin had its bathtub.  Not to mention that the ship carried over 400 asparagus tongs.  They only had 20 lifeboats for over 1,500 though.

Some More Fun Facts about the Titanic

  • The Titanic is the only ocean liner to ever be sunk by an iceberg.
  • The Musicians of the Titanic kept playing music for hours as the ship sank.
  • After the Titanic sank, the families of the band members were billed By White Star Line for the cost of the uniforms worn as the band members died.
  • Chocolate magnate Milton Hershey canceled his reservations for the Titanic due to last-minute business matters.
  • The Japanese who survived the Titanic crash was called a coward in his country for not dying with the others.
  • Nearly a dozen couples were celebrating their honeymoon on the Titanic.
  • The last remaining survivor of the disaster, Millvina Dean, died on May 31, 2009, aged 97. She was two months old at the time.
  • A man who survived the sinking of a ship in 1871 was finally able to overcome his fears and decided to sail again in 1912: he died in the sinking of the Titanic.
  • A priest on the Titanic refused to board a lifeboat twice. Instead, he stayed behind to hear confessions and give absolution to the people left on the ship.
  • 29 days after the Titanic sank, a movie about it was released. It featured an actress who was actually on the Titanic and survived.
  • The budget for the Movie “Titanic” was higher than the Titanic itself.
  • James Cameron sought Hollywood funding for the movie “Titanic” not because he wanted to make the movie, but because he wanted to dive into the shipwreck.
  • The movie “Titanic” won 11 Oscars, but none for acting.
  • The White Star Line’s Titanic and her sister ship Olympic were designed to compete with the famous Cunard liners Lusitania and Mauretania.
  • There’s a conspiracy theory saying the Titanic never sank. Instead, it was her sister ship, the Olympic, and it was an insurance scam.

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