The 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic remains one of the biggest losses of life at sea. However, along with the accident came a number of conspiracy theories, and we’re going to discuss the craziest.
The RMS Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in the icy waters of the North Atlantic on 14 April 1912, killing 1,517 people.
It was a tragic event that shocked the world. However, along with the tragedy came numerous conspiracy theories regarding why the ship sank.
So, let’s take a look at the ten craziest Titanic conspiracy theories and where they came from in more detail.
10. It was an inside job – the theory that it wasn’t actually the Titanic that sank
One of the most well-known theories is that the ship’s sinking was an inside job and that the Titanic didn’t actually sink.
Certain conspiracy theorists believe that the ship’s owners disguised its sister ship, the RMS Olympic, as the Titanic as an insurance scam.
However, historians found holes in this as the Titanic’s construction material wore a different batch number than the Olympic’s.
9. The cursed mummy – a crazy theory
One of the craziest Titanic conspiracy theories was that the ship sank to the bottom of the Atlantic because it carried a cursed mummy in its hold.
Allegedly, the Titanic was carrying the body of an excavated Egyptian princess who left a trail of devastation across Europe in the early 1900s.
Of course, no mummies were found in the ship’s wreckage.
8. It was sabotage – a religious theory
As one crazy theory goes, the Titanic’s sinking was a result of sabotage.
Theorists say that catholic shipyard workers at Harland and Wolff, of which there weren’t many during this time, were horrified to discover the ship’s hull number – 3909 04 – seemed to spell out ‘No Pope’ when viewed in a mirror.
However, this was quickly debunked as most of the shipyard workers were protestant, and the number appeared to be completely random.
7. The captain was at fault – moving too fast
While there is no evidence of this being true or untrue, many people believe the fault in the sinking of the Titanic lies in the hands of the captain.
As with any ship, the vessel’s speed is down to the captain. Apparently, he was under a lot of pressure to pick up speed and try to cross the Atlantic in record time.
As we said, there is absolutely no proof of this, but it is a common theory. Have a look at our article on the 10 mistakes that caused the sinking of the Titanic.
6. A planned murder – definitely one of the craziest Titanic conspiracy theories
Another crazy theory is that the ship sank as a result of a murder plot. According to this theory, millionaire banker J.P. Morgan planned the disaster to kill off rival millionaires Jacob Astor, Benjamin Guggenheim, and Isidor Straus, all of whom did die on board.
This theory is unprecedented because although all men died, there has never been any explanation on how the ship was planned to hit an iceberg and kill over 1,500 along with them.
5. The coal fire theory – adding to the ship’s speed
Robert Essenhigh of Ohio State University theorises that a pile of stored coal could have been smouldering during the Titanic’s voyage, adding to the unsafe speeds at which the ship was allegedly moving.
Historians don’t stand by this theory, largely believing that it wouldn’t have made much of a difference if the coal was ablaze all the way from Southampton.
4. The fire theory – the boat was damaged
Ten days before the Titanic struck the iceberg, a fire started in the coal bunkers and continued for days into the voyage. This wasn’t uncommon on steamships due to spontaneous combustions caused by coal.
This theory states that the fire exacerbated the impact of the iceberg hitting the ship as it affected the vessel’s structural integrity.
3. The ship was attacked – one of the more believable theories
Another theory is that the Titanic was attacked by a German U-boat, despite the incident occurring two years before WWI.
This theory comes off the back of the German U-boat attack on the British ocean liner Lusitania in 1915 that killed 1,198 passengers.
2. Cheap equipment – another attack on Harland and Wolff
Some theorists believe that the Titanic was put together with substandard materials to cut costs, despite there being no budget to build the luxury liner.
Allegedly, they used wrought iron rivets when they should have used steel rivets. The theory goes that the lower-grade rivets became brittle in the cold weather and popped off when the ship hit the iceberg.
1. Jack Dawson is Jay Gatsby – a fun movie crossover theory
We thought we’d end on a fun theory about the 1997 Titanic movie.
Fans of both Titanic and The Great Gatsby put forward that Jack Dawson actually survives the ship sinking, going on to build an incredible life for himself, hoping that one day Rose will appear. Instead, he discovers Daisy Buchanan. Silly but interesting.