When the Titanic sank in 1912, the news rattled people across the globe. The world’s largest cruise liner was destroyed by an iceberg and a clumsy crew.
We all know the story of the Titanic and her downfall, but what do we know about the iceberg that ruined her? It’s a question that one professor in England wanted to answer.
According to Professor Grant Bigg of Sheffield University, the iceberg (thought to be the one pictured in the photo below), was at least 400 feet long. It was also estimated to weigh 1.5 million tons.
That’s considerably smaller than it used to be according to Professor Bigg. The iceberg weighed over 75 million tons and measured 1,700 feet long when it first formed.
Using information from a computer model, Biggs concludes that the iceberg most likely formed from snow that fell more than 100,000 years ago.
According to the weather models that Biggs worked with, the deadly iceberg had probably been melting in the North Atlantic for months before the Titanic came along.
Going even further with his research, he was able to trace the iceberg’s origin to somewhere near Qassimiut on Greenland’s southwestern coast.
Theory has it that the said icebergs broke away from a glacier back in 1908, when a warmer-temperature winter prompted enhanced ice melting. Others believe that high tides, sunspots, as well as a supermoon that occurred in that fateful year probably dislodged the iceberg.
The year 1912, was also speculated to be a dangerous year at sea. In his new book “Icebergs,” Bigg wrote that extensive ice, which traveled much farther south than expected, was widely documented around the time of the Titanic’s misfortune.
The man reportedly saw a line of red paint along the bottom of the iceberg, believed to be where it touched the Titanic,as confirmed by the iceberg marks, the location, and eyewitness accounts. At that time, he was unaware that it had been the culprit behind the tragedy.
I had no idea that icebergs could hang around for so long. It’s always pretty incredible to see what scientists can do with the technology they have available to them today.