Since 1912, when the Titanic sank on her inaugural voyage, there have been many theories behind the mystery of how this unsinkable ship ended up on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Up until now, the theory has been that an iceberg tore open a 300-foot gash in the side of the 900 foot-long luxury liner. Even after 1985, when Robert D. Ballard founded the Titanic, the expeditions mainly focused on the beauty of the ship and not the damage it had sustained from the iceberg. Of course the Titanic is submerged in many feet of mud so searching for the damage has been impossible.
Just Recently researchers were able to determine the damage to the ship by imaging the sunken liner with an acoustic device known as a sub-bottom profiler. They examined the ship’s starboard side, finding a series of six thin openings along the hull. This implied that the iron rivets along the plate seams probably popped open creating small gaps for the water to come in. Two wrought-iron rivets from the Titanic’s hull were recently hauled up for scientific analysis and were found to be riddled with unusually high concentrations of slag, making them brittle and prone to fracture. From the observation, researchers concluded that since these seams were roughly 20 feet below the waterline, there was an enormous amount of pressure from the seawater, which made it’s way into the compartments very quickly.
Navel Architects and marine engineers claim the Titanic was moving at an estimated speed of 22 knots before it collided with the iceberg. They believe if the Titanic was moving half as fast, the force of the iceberg’s impact and the damage done to the plate seams would have been much less. Since the pressure would have been less, fewer compartments would have flooded and the possibility of survival would have been greater.
There are still many debates over whether the Titanic was intact while it submerged under the ocean or it had broken into two pieces before descending to the bottom of the ocean floor. Some passengers testified to watching it breaking apart above the surface, while the ship’s officer’s testified that the vessel went down intact. The fact those eyewitnesses aboard the Titanic have different stories lead me to believe that the mystery of the unsinkable ship may never be solved. Every year expeditions will come up with evidence of another theory. Some theories will be justifiable, others will still be a mystery.