We’re fairly certain that everyone at this point has at least some familiarity with the infamous Titanic. Whether your knowledge spans across the “unsinkable” ship’s tragic history or is limited to the 1997 James Cameron film, we’ve all heard of the Titanic at some point.
You’ve also probably seen photos of the Titanic’s resting spot and how the ship looks now. However, few of us have seen the chilling photos of the Titanic as she was in the 1900s. Many have also not seen some of the more “haunting/disturbing” images such as boots resting on the ocean floor.
Before we show you the full list of photos (all of our mini sections have pictures), let’s take a deeper look into the Titanic and her history.
In 1909, the construction of the Titanic took place in Belfast. The might ship was being built by the Harland and Wolff company. The company was well known for their decadent ships and was owned by Lord Pirrie and his friend Bruce Ismay. Ismay was the managing director of the White Star Line.
The pair had to make alterations to their shipyard in order to accommodate the Titanic’s massive size. These alterations included larger piers and gantries that were necessary in order to accommodate the Titanic and her sister ship the Olympic. Like twins, the two were constructed side by side at the same time.
When putting the ship together, the designers wanted to make her “unsinkable”. In order to do this, they took precautions. The ship featured 16 compartments that were watertight. Each compartment was designed to be closed off automatically shoulder water enter the area and rise above a certain level. They reasoned that the ship could still float if 2 of the 4 were compromised. When the Titanic hit the ice, they found out 6 of the compartments had flooded.
Fun fact: The Titanic cost $7.5 million to construct in 1912.
Fun fact: The Titanic’s total length was 882 feet 9 inches, breadth was 92 feet 6 inches, and she had engines that boasted 46,000 horse power capable of cruising the ship through the water at 21 knots.
On May 31, 1911 the Titanic was officially launched by the White Star Line. She was considered a Royal Mail Ship or RMS for short. She was built to compete with the newest ocean liners the Lusitania and Mauritania. These two ships had broken White Star Line’s records for both speed and size. That is, they were breaking the records until the Titanic was born.
The Titanic launched from Slipway number 3 in the North Yard (yard number 401) under the watchful eye of the White Star Line. The 46,328-ton passenger ship “without a hitch” according to the local papers. She sailed out into the waters while passengers above the ship waved goodbye (some of them for the last time) to their friends and loved ones who were on shore. This was standard practice for the time; in fact, your family and friends could even hang out on the ship until it was time for it to go. Now, you have to be a certain distance from the ship and you definitely aren’t allowed on board without a pass.
Creepily enough, several photos of the ship were taken and compiled into an album on its inaugural voyage. The captions under the ship read, “going, going, gone” below the snapshots. These photos were put together in sequence in a family photo album alongside photos of the Titanic’s proud creators.
The unsinkable ship sinks
The winter that spanned from 1911 to 1912 was rather mellow, especially given the time period. Previous winters had been much colder so locals were relieved to see the much more mild temperatures. However, the higher than usual temps in the North Atlantic meant that there were more chunks of ice floating off the west banks of Greenland. In fact, there were more now than their had been in the last 50 years.
In the early morning of April 15, 1912 the Titanic sunk to the bottom of the ocean after a fatal collision with the iceberg. The safety compartments meant to hold back water and allow the ship to stay afloat had been compromised as well as other areas of the ship. She was ferrying an estimated 2,224 people when she struck the ice at 11:40 pm on Sunday, April 14th. The Titanic also struck the ice at nearly full speed, despite several warnings about the dangerous ice in the area.
The captain was unable to evade the iceberg; the blow compromised her starboard side and opened the compartments to water, as previously mentioned. Once the Titanic hit the iceberg, it took two hours and forty minutes for the large ship to fully sink. It would also take workers an hour to launch the first lifeboat after the initial collision with the ice.
An estimated 1,500 people lost their lives when the giant ship sank. Some couldn’t make it off the ship, others froze to death in the icy waters, some were pulled under by the strong currents created by the ship sinking, others fell/jumped to their death, and some couldn’t swim and didn’t have access to life vests.
Either way, the sinking of the ship was disorganized chaos at best. People were running around like crazy unsure as to where to go and workers did what they could to help, but they were also ill prepared for the event. It took an hour for the first lifeboat to hit the water and of the 19 that followed, most weren’t even at that full capacity.
An infinite amount of scenarios
In all honesty, the ship’s path to the bottom of the ocean seemed to fit every aspect of the “imagine a scenario in which”. Simply put, everything that could happen to sink the ship did so.
Picture a scenario in which one of the adjacent ship’s radios would have radioed in a cautionary warning regarding ice shelves in the zone. This might have saved the ship. However, these transmissions were neglected for unclear reasons.
Now picture an instance in which the on board radio hadn’t malfunctioned. This malfunction caused administrators an excess amount of work just to shift through messages that they had no time to listen to another ship’s warning about the dangerous waters ahead.
Or what if there hadn’t been any mistakes back at the port in England and the ship’s posts had been given the binoculars that they were promised? They almost certainly would have seen the icebergs.
Let’s imagine a scenario where First Officer William Murdoch would have attempted to put some distance between the ice shelf and the ship instead of trying to swing the ship to one side to save the bow then back again to clear the stem. Had he not attempted such a complex, last minute effort, would the ship have been spared?
Or lastly, what if the Titanic had had her full limit of life rafts? The massive ship was carrying 20 rather than its limit of 64. Or what would have the fate of others had the life rafts actually departed at their full capacity? Many were denied entry onto the boats despite the fact that was room.
Of course it’s easy to sit back and judge from our position on safe, dry land. It’s easy to postulate what could or might have saved the ship; it’s all hindsight and irrelavant now since the ship sits at the bottom of the ocean.
She is rediscovered
In 1985, a deep-ocean research submersible found the Titanic’s resting place. She hadn’t been seen much less photographed since the early 1900s when she was constructed and set sail.
But how exactly was the ship located? Turns out, it was sort of an accident. The United States Navy were scouting the area in hopes of finding two nuclear submarines that had wrecked. Instead, they came across the Titanic.
This prompted Robert Ballard to request funding in order to develop robotic submersible technology in 1982 that would be capable of reaching the Titanic’s resting place. Ballard is an oceanographer at the University of Rhode Island in Narragansett as well as Connecticut’s Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration.
Chilling images of the Titanic surface
As promised, here is a look at some of the images photographers have gotten of the wreck since its rediscovery.
1. Bodies on the seafloor
Here you can see a pair of boots resting at the bottom of the ocean. It’s haunting to think that at one point they may have belonged to someone or worse yet, that there might have been feet inside.
2. Front of the ship
Chances are, you’ve seen similar images to this before. However, we think the darkness of the water around the ship really makes it unsettling. It begins to feel almost as if the Titanic is in a coffin.
3. Ice sheets and the infamous iceberg
Unfortunately, this image is a little grainy but it was taken aboard the Titanic as she entered into the icy waters. Ahead, you’ll see the iceberg that took her down. It’s creepy to see the culprit in the photo.
4. Boarding the ship
Here you can see excited travelers on the ship as they wait for the Titanic to set sail. On shore are loved ones as well as workers who ferried up belongings and loaded them onto the ship.
5. The sea has reclaimed the Titanic as her own
Here you can see rock and coral formations that have been steadily growing along the ship since it sank. These formations will continue to grow over the years and the ship is host to a variety of animal life.
6. A ghost of her former self
Here you can see what the Titanic would have looked like in her former glory compared to how she looks now. Once a proud vessel, the ship now sits in decay underwater.
7. An interesting tidbit
This isn’t necessarily a “creepy” photo, but it is interesting nonetheless to learn about some of the passengers that lost their loves above the Titanic.
8. Alcoholism saved this man’s life
While alcohol normally destroys people’s lives, it actually worked to save this guy. We also love the photo they chose for the caption; it shows some of the interior and how the sea has begun reclaiming the vessel for its own.
9. A better look at the iceberg
Here is a better image of the iceberg that took down the Titanic.
10. Stunning interior
The Titanic was incredibly opulent and luxurious; stained glass decorated some of the areas and some of the panels still remain today. They are largely overgrown with algae and many are broken, but you can still the beautiful coloring.
Here is one of just 20 lifeboats that the Titanic was carrying. As stated above, many of the lifeboats were not even at capacity.
13. A child’s doll
The plastic body and hair have long since been dissolved by the saltwater (or perhaps it was destroyed during the sinking) so that all that remains in this creepy hollow face.
14. Dinner for ghosts
Chinaware and dishes still remain around the Titanic’s resting spot. Many are damaged, broken, or exist only in pieces but some still remain. They give us a glimpse into how luxurious the first class passengers had aboard the massive ship.
Resting on all sides of the ship are tons of debris. Some are pieces of the ship itself, while others are mementos that passengers were carrying on board.
This image is of the skylight that was located by the Grand Staircase. Documenters are unsure whether the skylight was above the staircase or aft the staircase. Either way, the glass is gone and all that remains is the frame.
This picture is of one of the ship’s turbines.
Here you can see the ship’s fracture line. This occurred when the ship was sinking and broke in roughly half. The red line on the left traces the fracture point to make it easier to see.
19. Intricate railing
To be totally transparent, we aren’t sure if this is a bed frame, chair or part of a staircase. Google was largely unhelpful in helping us discern what the picture is of but either way, the image is incredibly haunting.
20. A stunning interior
Here you can see a photo of one of the ship’s bedrooms. The inside was incredibly decadent provided you had the money to pay for the opulence.
This is what the ship’s 1st class library looked like.
22. Fancy a bath?
At one point in time, this was probably a very beautiful and very private bathroom. Now the tub remains in full view for onlookers.
23. Human remains
It should come as no surprise that there are human remains around the Titanic’s wreckage; after all, around 1,500 did perish in the event. Some placards have been erected in memory of some of those lost but it’s hard to say who was who given the state of decay.
24. A suitcase that will never be unpacked
The grainy image of the suitcase above is rather disturbing. For starters, it looks almost like a makeshift coffin at first glance. Once you realize that it’s a suitcase and not a coffin, you begin to wonder whose things were in there and if that person made it out alive.
25. The mighty ship before she left
And finally, an image of the Titanic in her former glory before she set sail to her doom.
Many people find themselves so enraptured by the ship. Does the Titanic continue to fascinate you to this day as well? We also want to know what picture you found the most interesting and if we featured any content that you didn’t know regarding the ship. As always, let us know what you think in the comments!