Minor Tweak to Titanic Theory

WORLD

Scientists have challenged the idea that the Titanic was unlucky for sailing in a year when there were an exceptional number of icebergs in the North Atlantic. (BBC)

Find more Titanic resources than you could ever possibly use.

The culprit. This iceberg, with a tantalizing trail of red paint on its face, was reportedly the only iceberg at the scene of the Titanic disaster.  Photograph by Capt. William de Carteret, courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

The culprit. This iceberg, with a tantalizing trail of red paint on its face, was reportedly the only iceberg at the scene of the Titanic disaster.
Photograph by Capt. William de Carteret, courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

Discussion Ideas

  • Read through our short, terrific media spotlight on the “Sinking of the Titanic.” Work through the first two questions in the “Questions” tab.
    • What was the sea surface temperature in the area where the Titanic sank?
      • The temperature where the Titanic sank was slightly above freezing.
    • Was the current that pulled the iceberg into Titanic‘s path a cold or a warm current?
      • The current that pushed the iceberg into the Titanic‘s path was a cold current called the Labrador Current.

 

 

  • The title of the BBC article says the new iceberg modeling research presents a “challenge” to the Titanic sinking theory. What is the challenge? Does the new research change the way you think about the sinking of the Titanic?
    • The new research provides evidence that North Atlantic’s 1912 iceberg season was unusually active and dangerous, but not the most active or the most dangerous in recorded history.
    • The familiar model of the way the Titanic sank has not been challenged. The ship collided with an iceberg (probably the one shown on this page), broke in two, and sank to the bottom of the ocean. National Geographic might have to update the statistical information on its “Icebergs in the North Atlantic Ocean” chart, but it’s a minor tweak, not a major change. It’s not like saying rats weren’t responsible for spreading the Black Death or something . . .

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