The conventional wisdom that the Titanic sank because the crew failed to see and avoid an iceberg tells only part of the story, according to an article in the New York Times, The Iceberg Was Only Part of It.
Record high tides, which happen only once in 1,000 years, “refloated masses of icebergs traditionally stuck along the coastlines of Labrador and Newfoundland and sent them adrift into the North Atlantic shipping lanes.”
In addition, unusual weather conditions produced what is commonly found in the hot desert, mirages. These cold-weather mirages occur when cold air bends light rays downward. When this happens, “observers can see objects and settings far over the horizon. The images often undergo quick distortions — not unlike the wavy reflections in a funhouse mirror.” The phenomenon could have obscured the iceberg and made it difficult for the rescue ship, the Californian, to find the survivors.
On other Titanic news, James Cameron and his team recently pulled together a new model of how the TItanic sank and reached the ocean floor.
Image courtesy of Artshooter