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What Happened to the Iceberg That Sank the Titan
What Happened to the Iceberg That Sank the Titanic?
By Alasdair Wilkins, io9
Exactly one hundred years ago Sunday, an ocean liner struck a block of ice and sank in the North Atlantic. The story of the ocean liner has been told hundreds of times. This story is about the block of ice.
The photos you see up top and down on the left are quite possibly the only known photographic evidence of the actual iceberg that struck the Titanic. Understandably, nobody had bothered to snap any photographs while the ship was actually sinking, so it’s impossible to make an absolutely confirmed positive identification. But both photographs feature the telltale sign of a collision with a ship, and likely a recent one at that: a streak of red paint.
The photo up top was taken by the chief steward of the German ocean liner SS Prinz Adalbert, which on Apr. 15 was sailing through the North Atlantic mere miles away from where the Titanic had sunk the night before. At the time, the chief steward hadn’t yet learned of the Titanic‘s fate, so he wasn’t even on the lookout for icebergs. He simply spotted a streak of red along the iceberg’s base, which most likely meant a ship had collided with it in the last 12 hours.
Image: United States Coast Guard
This next photo was taken by a Captain De Carteret of the Minia, one of a few cable ships — vessels ordinarily used to lay deep sea cables, such as those for telecommunications — sent to the site of the shipwreck to recover corpses and debris. The captain claimed this was the only iceberg in the area, and the red paint was again a clear sign that a ship had recently struck it. There’s some disagreement over whether this was the only iceberg in the area, but it certainly seems likely that something had hit it, and the odds are good that that something was the Titanic.