Why The Titanic Disaster Remains Awe-Inspiring: Disaster, Opulence, And The Merciless Ocean

The question on many people’s thoughts this week is: Why would some of the wealthiest men in the world endanger their lives by diving to the bottom of the ocean in a chilly, claustrophobic “experimental” submersible in hopes of seeing the Titanic wreck?

The most famous ship in the world is likely the “unsinkable” ship, which sank after striking an iceberg on its inaugural journey across the Atlantic in 1912. More people throughout the globe are familiar with the Titanic than, for example, Captain Cook’s HMS Endeavour (the tall ship that inaugurated the British conquest of Australia) or Christopher Colombus’s Nia, Pinta, and Santa Maria (the fleet that launched the Spanish conquest of the Americas).

A year ago, the long-forgotten wreck of the Endeavour was discovered scuttled off the shore of Rhode Island.

One of the most popular news items of 1912 was the maiden voyage of the Titanic and its tragic demise, which has captivated us ever since. The catastrophe served as the inspiration for several songs and films during the 20th century, including James Cameron’s 1997 epic romance, which for many years held the record for biggest box office receipts.

More recently, massive audiences have flocked to Titanic exhibits in New York, Seville, and Hong Kong that allow visitors to study artefacts and experience the ship’s replica quarters.

Immigrants and opulence
There are two reasons for our fascination with the Titanic and why the wealthy seem to be prepared to part with their cash and even put their lives in danger to get a sight of its shattered hull.

The grandeur of it is the first. The Titanic was billed as the most opulent vessel ever to set sail by the White Star Line, which constructed it. Wealthy travellers paid up to £870 for the right to stay in the most luxurious and roomy first-class accommodations on the Titanic. To put this 110-year-old currency into perspective, infantry troops in the British army received an annual basic wage of around £20 prior to the start of the First World War in 1914.

Movies and exhibits about the Titanic are well-liked because viewers delight in the voyeurism of seeing the ship’s exquisite furnishings, the exquisite clothing worn by its affluent and attractive passengers, and their extravagant meals in posh restaurants. Salmon, steak, and foie gras pâté were served as part of multi-course meals for first-class passengers. For interested customers, chefs in Australia and other countries periodically replicate dishes from the Titanic.

Numerous low-income immigrants, like Jack (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) in Cameron’s film, were also travelling on the Titanic. They ate less exciting meals such boiled meat and potatoes and lived in cramped quarters. If only they had been on board, the Titanic may have vanished from history quite swiftly.

The sea’s strength
The Titanic’s attraction is heightened by the fact that it was declared to be unsinkable. The ship was designed to trick the water, and its name alluded to its enormous size. It represented how man has dominated nature when it left England. It provides as a visceral reminder of the enormous strength of the indomitable water at the bottom of the Atlantic.

The Titan submersible accident is now generating widespread attention due to the same two factors—the excess of the expedition and its defeat by the water. Observations from Downing Street and the White House as well as real-time news blogs from The New York Times and the Guardian are among the few global events that draw as much interest.

Similar to the Titanic, the Titan draws our attention due to her outrageously wealthy passengers, who allegedly paid a fee of US $2,50,000 (about four to five times the average US wage) apiece to see the remains of the illustrious ship that fought the sea and lost.

The sea’s alluring mystery and strength are another factor. The Titanic and maybe the Titan lay far below the sea’s surface, according to news sources’ helpful visuals that attempt to explain to our minds on land how deep the water is.

The limitations of what humans can know
I saw Neal Argawal’s Deep Sea website was being shared on social media last night. Viewers may scroll down the website from photographs of diverse marine species that live in varying oceanic depths to images of the ocean bottom.

An orca may be found at 114 metres, and a person has never descended to a depth of 332 metres while using SCUBA equipment. Scrolling is necessary to reach the Titanic, which is about 4,000 metres below the water.

Reflecting on the Titan and the Titanic forces us to face how little of the sea we can really “see” in this day of widespread monitoring, in addition to highlighting gross financial disparity. Even the mighty US Navy, with assistance from the governments of Canada, the UK, and France, lacks the resources and technology necessary to find, much alone save, the lost submersible.

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