Fate Of The Iceberg That Sank Titanic. It Had Quite A Long Journey!
May 10, 2019 14:29 By Fabiosa
We have all heard about the horrible sinking of Titanic. There’s even an excellent James Cameron movie based on this story. The tragedy occurred on the eve of 14 April, 1912 and left many questions: why there were so few lifeboats, why the Titanic disregarded several warnings and kept on travelling at high speed, why it was so fragile…
Unknown photographer, photo taken on April 11, 1912 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Many people know all too well the story of the collision and rescue of the survivors, but what about the culprit, the iceberg? Do you think it was enormous and horrifying? Had it stood there since the dawn of time, just waiting for the Titanic? It turns out that this iceberg has a greater story than the legendary liner. And we would like to share it with you!
How big was it?
ratlos / Shutterstock.com
The first illusion to debunk is the size of the iceberg. It was a teeny tiny one in terms of sea ice! Its highest point hardly reached the upper decks of the liner. Its height was 345 ft, with most of it below the surface of the ocean. For comparison purposes, the length of Titanic was 882 ft 9 in.
Where did it come from?
Olga Gavrilova / Shutterstock.com
The 420,000-ton iceberg broke away from a glacier in Melville Bay, Greenland, on June 24, 1910, at about 1 pm, losing much of its mass during its journey. Alas, even this did not save the ship in the end.
How did it get there?
Michael Rosskothen / Shutterstock.com
As you know, the fate of an iceberg is to float in water. So, slowly and steadily, it moved toward the inadvertent meeting place with the Titanic. After 2 years, on April 14, 1912, it reached the place of the collision. On April 16 – two days later – the main steward of armored cruiser SMS Prinz Adalbert managed to take a photo of the iceberg with red paint near the water line that had supposedly sunk Titanic.
Where did it go from there?
The chief steward of the liner Prinz Adalbert [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The iceberg’s journey didn’t stop there. In a sense, it was the liner that crossed into its territory by having neglected 6 warnings of sea ice ahead. Here is the last one:
From “Mesaba” to “Titanic” and all east-bound ships: Ice report in latitude 42° N. to 41° 25’ N., longitude 49° to longitude 50° 30’ W. Saw much heavy pack ice and great number large icebergs. Also field ice. Weather good, clear.
User Thomas H. White on en.wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
So, after the encounter with Titanic, the iceberg went on. It was picked up by a warm current and reached Franz Josef Land, Russia, in half a year. There, it was washed ashore and melted by the summer of 1913. It survived for more than a year, but it is rather symbolic that its journey ended shortly after the tragedy.